Resident doctors at University of College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, have withdrawn clinical services to protest alleged unprovoked assaults on four medical officers of the health institution.

Dr Samuel Eseile, President of the Association of Resident Doctors, UCH chapter (ARD UCH), disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.

Eseile said that the victims of the assault were, on different occasions, assaulted by some hospital workers and patients’ relatives.

“We don’t feel safe working within the UCH environment any more. The lives of our members are being threatened on daily basis. We have suffered too many attacks by patients, their relatives and some staff members of the hospital.

“All these unnecessary and unprovoked assaults have resulted in surgical procedures and hospitalisation of some of our members,” he said.

The ARD president recalled the attack on one of his members, Dr Saul Adeleke in 2019 by a patient’s relative while on duty, adding: “although this attack was unprovoked, the hospital’s management had written it off as a minor altercation.

“Dr Babatunde Falade, of Emergency Department, was also assaulted on March 10, in the presence of the hospital’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) by an IT student in the Engineering Department.

“The culprit mobilised thugs and his friends from outside the hospital to beat up the doctor and the mob was only dispersed after gunshots were released within the UCH premises.

“Although the matter of assault is currently being pursued legally, the hospital’s CSO has yet to make a formal report on this issue to the management.”

Eseile also noted that on March 19, Dr Nurudeen Adekunle, a Senior Registrar in Orthopaedics and Trauma Department, was assaulted and mobbed by some staffers of the hospital’s Accounts Department.

He said that in the process, Adekunle had his right finger fractured.

The ARD president expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the hospital’s management handled the matter, saying that it was indifferent and partial.

“The congress of ARD, UCH chapter, therefore, decided that the assaults on its members must stop and that the security of their lives was no longer guaranteed in their place of work.

“Consequently, the association has decided to withdrawal clinical services on the account of the assaults, pending the time the management will deem it fit to take decisive legal actions.

“We had hoped to suspend the withdrawal of clinical services, only for an obnoxious query letter misrepresenting the facts of the case to be issued to the assault victims,” he said.

Eseile said that the strike would continue until the security of lives of the resident doctors could be guaranteed.

He appealed to the hospital’s management to provide adequate security within the hospital to prevent a repeat of the incidents.

“Withdrawal of services in all units, except the intensive care, neonatal and high dependency units, will continue until we are assured of our security and safety.

“The query letter to our assaulted member must be withdrawn and an apology for misrepresentation of facts in the query letter issued by management.

“The venue of an investigative panel, purportedly set up by management, should be made available to all parties involved in these conflicts.

“We also demand a public statement on these assaults from our parent body, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Oyo State branch,” he said.

Efforts to get the reactions of the hospital’s management to the allegations proved abortive, as the Public Relations Officer, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, was not available, when contacted.

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