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Ekiti Resident Doctors Declare Indefinite Strike, after Hoodlums Attack and Steal a Corpse

Owing to a violent confrontation, resident doctors at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH)are embarking on an indefinite strike.

On Monday, January 15, some group of men reportedly invaded the facility and attacked doctors and health workers over the death of a relative. The suspected hoodlums vandalized the hospital and, shockingly, seized a corpse believed to be the father of one of them.

The deceased, admitted to the Accident and Emergency unit, passed away in the early hours of Monday. Enraged, his son, alongside accomplices from a road union, blamed medical staff for negligence. In a violent outburst, they assaulted health workers, vandalized a few equipment, and absconded with the deceased without settling any medical bills.

In response, the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at EKSUTH initiated an immediate indefinite strike. The association decried the assault on its members and the hospital’s equipment, demanding the arrest of the culprits.

In a letter to the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Kayode Olabanji, ARD President Dr. Famous Adeyemi urged urgent attention to pending welfare demands.

After narrating the incident, the association further states: “This attack is happening at a time when our members are showing understanding with the State Government on the non-implementation of our demands on improved welfare vis-a-vis being faced with work overload and exhaustion, which is a result of poor remuneration, pay disparity and the attendant effect of local brain drain.

“We wish to use this opportunity to call on the management of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSU(TH) and the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice for their actions.

“We also implore the state government to, as a matter of urgency, attend to our pending demands which bother on improved welfare of our members. We implore the management and the government to provide a lasting solution to these incessant assaults on our members and ensure safety when they are in their duty posts.

“We call on the state Assembly to enact a law to criminalize assault on health workers in Ekiti State. The strike will not be called off until our demands are met.”

Responding to the incident, EKSUTH Spokesperson Mrs Rolake Adewumi confirmed the attack and stated that the Divisional Police Officer is actively pursuing the suspects.

The Ekiti incident stands as one out of many of such perilous cases in Nigeria. In August 2022, a female gynaecologist in Abuja suffered a brain injury after she was attacked by a patient’s relative. In a more tragic incident on December 31, 2023, Uyi Iluobe, a medical doctor at Olive Clinic, Oghara, Delta state, was killed, allegedly by relatives of a patient who had died from a gunshot wound. The escalating dangers faced by medical staff raise urgent calls for protective measures.

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