Medical workers in Nigerian teaching hospitals have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over allegations of lopsidedness in the distribution of leadership roles in the hospitals.
The workers, under the auspices of the Nigerian Union of Allied Healthcare Professionals, and whose members comprise pharmacists, dieticians, medical laboratory technologists, physiotherapists and radiographers, addressed journalists at the University Teaching Hospital, UCH, Ibadan on Monday.
That marked the fifth day since their members at the UCH embarked on a strike to protest the alleged marginalisation in the hospitals.
The National President of the Union, Felix Faniran, alleged that the medical practitioners treated other professionals as inferior.
“The Federal Government should implement the report of the presidential committee on a harmonious work relationship among health workers and professional groups in the health sector in Nigeria.
“They should ensure that all health professionals have equal opportunities of rising to the peak of their careers in line with their schemes of service.
“The post of the Chief Medical Director/Medical Director should be re-designated as Chief Executive Officer and made open to all health professionals with proven competence and managerial expertise,” he said.
Reacting, the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, UCH, said rather than engage in unhealthy rivalry, professionals in the health sector must put the patient at the centre.
The Chairman of the UCH branch of the medical and dental union, Juwon Arotiba, said the protesters are raising unnecessary eyebrow.
He said the union’s protest against the appointment of Kayode Adedapo as Director, Laboratory Services, for instance, is uncalled for.
“Dr. Kayode Adedapo is suitably qualified to assist the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee in giving direction to laboratory services in the hospital”.
“The laboratory physician (pathologist), who was appointed by UCH, to assist the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee and Director of Clinical Services, Research and Training in overseeing the clinical laboratory services of the hospital, is a professionally qualified person.
“He is a laboratory medicine specialist and a pathologist with over a decade of experience. He is, therefore, suitably qualified to assist the CMAC,” Mr. Arotiba said.