Kogi Doctors Protesting Workload Face Misconduct Query

Doctors Protest Poor Working Conditions, Shortage of Manpower in Kogi

Members of the Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja, Kogi State, have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike.

The doctors, last week, embarked on a protest on the premises of the hospital over alleged shortage of manpower and huge workload, while calling on the management to address their concerns.

The President of ARD at the hospital, Dr Umar Jimoh, said the doctors’ population had reduced from about 164 to 64 in four years.

“Because of this issue, the workload is enormous on our members. One person does five people’s jobs,” he said during a march around the hospital premises as members displayed placards bearing different inscriptions.

Following the protest, the management of the hospital, on Thursday, queried the executive members of the association over what it termed misconduct.

The query, obtained by our correspondent, dated May 2, 2024, was titled, ‘Query on misconduct’ and signed by the SSDC Secretary for the management.

The management listed the ‘misconduct’ as, “Going on strike for three days after the emergency meeting of ARD on March 25, 2024, without following due process.

“Going in protest and carrying placards within and outside the hospital premises on May 2, 2024, without prior notice and following due process.

“Unilaterally sacking the call food vendor without authorisation from the management who has been the party paying for the call meals.

“Carrying placards to the office of the Commissioner for Health on May 2, 2024, thereby painting the hospital in bad light and embarrassing the management.

“Refusing to be on your duty post on May 2, 2024, without permission.”

The query further read: “The management, therefore, directed that you should be issued this query according to the Public Service Rules, as these acts amounted to serious misconduct.”

Speaking on the query, the ARD chairman, Jimoh told our correspondent on Monday that the executive would not respond to it.

“We are not responding to any query. We are working, and we have been working. We are not on strike now, but we will go on strike very soon, and it is going to be indefinite.

“The Chief Medical Director has refused to listen to us; so our strike is going to be indefinite, and we are giving him a two-week ultimatum.

“As a civil servant, you are entitled to withdraw from service when the environment is not conducive for you. We have been agitating all this while, but he has never called us for any meeting.

“When we embarked on a three-day warning strike, he was notified. When we protested, some members were still working while some of us were protesting.

“Then they said that we got a placard. I’m a Nigerian. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution as amended grants an individual to embark on a peaceful protest. Then, we disengaged the food vendor for serving non-palatable foods, even dogs can’t eat them,” he said.

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