Health care services at the University College Hospital, on Thursday, were again disrupted when doctors under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), University College Hospital, Ibadan staged a peaceful protest to register their displeasure over the assault on a female doctor on Tuesday.
The protesters, who moved through different outpatient clinics and service points at the hospital, had placards with different inscriptions like “Doctors are not punching bags, stop beating those who take care of you”, “Let UCH doctors breathe,” “We save lives; do not take our lives,” and “Do not kill us at our place of work.”
They were also chanting messages like “don’t attack, nurses, doctors or other health workers, we are only working to save lives” and “we say no to assault or violence on any health worker in UCH”.
They said a female doctor was at the Department of Radiology of the hospital on 29th August 2023 while she was at her duty post performing her clinical duties. She was multiply slapped on the face by a patient relative in reaction to the problem of electricity power failure in the hospital, making it impossible to do the CT scan he required for his patient.
President of ARD, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr Abiodun Ogundipe, speaking on the doctors’ protesters, said it is despicable act for health workers in the course of saving lives to be assaulted by patient’s relatives, particularly with emigration of health workers and few health workers in government hospitals to attend to patients.
Ogundipe, while saying no assault of doctors and other healthcare workers in the hospital, said the protest was to create attention to the public that any assault or violence against health workers at the hospital will no longer be tolerated.
“We are emphasizing and saying No to any assault on our colleagues and other healthcare workers in UCH, Ibadan. More than 5 doctors were attacked within two years within the hospital premises and we don’t want to condone this again. It is not until they kill us before we will speak. That is why we have raised our voices against this action.
“The entire public needs to know that the association and hospital have a zero tolerance for assault and violence against medical doctors and other healthcare workers. Anyone who engages is such nefarious acts would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.”
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, in a reaction, said the assailant has been immediately handed over to the police force for prosecution because the hospital views it as inhumane, unwarranted and unacceptable.
Professor Otegbayo said members of the public are to exercise some level of decorum while accessing medical care in the hospital and patients and their relatives not satisfied with services received at any service point should channel their complaints and grievances through the SERVICOM officers for appropriate investigation and redress.
He, however, said that the hospital had written a letter of compassion to apologize to the affected doctor and the assailant on bail with 3 sureties and N100,000 from Yemetu police station in Ibadan is to be charged to the court to face the wrath of the law.
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