by Samuel Okike
The month of May was definitely a rollercoaster, with countless scandalous and controversial news making headlines. When we thought things couldn’t get any dirtier, we were ushered out of the month with another bombshell: management of LUTH barring resident doctors from gaining entrance into their secretariat.
Security officials engaging in physical combat with doctors. This calls for concern. Has impunity returned to the hospitals?
Doctors, as we know, are some of the most revered professionals in Nigeria, and they fondly carry themselves with much poise and class. So, whatever could make them put etiquette aside and tussle with others must be a very serious matter.
In this case, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital doctors (resident doctors, precisely), were locked out of their secretariat and their belongings were being loaded out of the building into a bus by some security men who claimed to be following orders from the management of the hospital.
The management admitted that they ordered security men to take over the building. In defense of the management’s action, the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, Olufemi Fasanmade, said they had issued two letters to the resident doctors to vacate the secretariat, the first six months ago and the other, ten days ago.
But there are two problems here. According to the leader of the Association of Resident Doctors, no court order was presented to the doctors permitting the management to forcefully take over their secretariat.
Also, the management did not give any tangible reason for locking up of the doctors’ secretariat. Instead, they said – rather lackadaisically – that they ‘wanted to use it for an important purpose.’ To worsen matters, the management said ‘the association should not have found it hard to vacate one of the seven accommodations it had within the hospital complex.’
All these put together, it is easier to understand why the doctors threw caution to the wind and resorted to attacking the security officials.
What would it have cost the hospital management to call the doctors and try to make them see reason with them, instead of acting so dastardly? Simple communication.