Health Workers Begin Strike at Ilorin Teaching Hospital

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

Members of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Complex (UITHC), Ilorin, Kwara state, began a sit-down strike on Monday over the alleged plan by the hospital’s management to privatise and commercialise services at the diagnostic section of the hospital.

The workers, who carried placards with various inscriptions, also alleged that the management had contracted the services of the radio diagnostic section to a private consultant who is coming with his own equipment and workforce.

Some of the placards read: ‘Don’t add to the suffering of the masses. We say no to privatization,’ ‘we are against privatization. Labour is against privatization,’ privatization is tantamount to mismanagement of public health,’ ‘start commercialisation from the theatre not from diagnostic and radiology.’

Addressing the workers at the UITHC, Ilorin yesterday, the chairman of NUAHP , Comrade Olatunde Oluwawumi, said members would be in the office without attending to any patient and warned that members would not cooperate with the consultant being brought in given the fact that the break-down of facilities at the section was due to the negligence of management.

He said, “Despite all persuasions, the UITH management is bent on toeing this path of commercialization and privatization of a section of the diagnostic department of our organization without considering the consequences.

“We are concerned as professional union; we are concerned as bona fide staff of UITH; we are concerned as members of Ilorin community.

“We wonder, we brainstorm on what benefits this ill-advised move of the management of UITH will bring to the innocent people of Kwara state and environs. The truth is management has been deliberately killing the radiology department especially the unit belonging to the image scientists for private to thrive because of their own selfish reasons by their refusal to respond to several memos written to the management when the five years equipment maintenance agreement signed by the federal government with VAMED company expired August 2013 and also by their refusal to respond to several memos written by the technical head reporting the breakdown of the equipment in radiology department. Up till date there is no record of preventive maintenance of the equipment in the department of radiology.

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