Speaking the Nations Mind

university of Ilorin- Teaching Hospital denies acclaimed death of patient during warning strike

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The management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) have rebuffed the claims made by the family of a patient alleged to have died in the hospital during a warning strike.

The family had blamed the death of their son, Olusola Olagunju, on the strike embarked upon by health workers about two weeks ago.

Olagunju was said to have passed on when the workers of the hospital allegedly switched off the electricity supply to the oxygen support attached to him when they commenced a strike action.

But the management of the hospital has denied the death of any patient during a recent warning strike embarked upon by the institution’s Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

A private TV station had during the week reported that the recent strike in the teaching hospital led to death of a patient who was on ventilator.

UITH Deputy Chief Medical Advisory Committee (D-CMAC) Clinical Services, Dr. Louis Odegha, said that the patient in question even absconded from the hospital without settling his medical bills.

Besides, Odegha said, UITH as a tertiary health institution would never embark on total strike without granting waivers to critical areas like Emergency, Neo-Natal, Oxygen Plant and many others.

He said “the report on the alleged death of a patient in the hospital during a strike action of one of the workers’ unions in the hospital is erroneous. I want to state that no patient died at UITH as a result of the strike.”

He added: “The patient in question was a 30-year-old man who was admitted on August 2, 2020 with diagnosis of cancer of the lung. He was being managed here and was on oxygen.

“On August 8 when the warning strike started, he was seen by the team at about 12 noon, but he absconded from the hospital and could not be located. Even our bills could not be settled and thus could not be accounted for.

“He was on oxygen and not on ventilator or respirator.

“During the strike, we had over 200 patients who were on admission and being catered for. It was a section of workers that went on warning strike while other workers were working to take care of our patients.

“Even those on strike gave wavers concerning services in critical areas of the hospital such as the intensive care unit, etcetera.

“The warning strike was called off within four days. There was never a time that the strike was total in the hospital. Thus, the report was disappointing that a patient died.

“We assure you of our preparedness to render services to our people,” he said.

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