Kogi Doctors Protest Harsh Working Conditions, Demand Change

Resident doctors at Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja in Nigeria protested against alleged obnoxious policies and severe manpower shortage. They demanded an end to casualization, payment of arrears, and improved working conditions, citing exhaustion and health risks.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Kogi DoctorsPROTESTHarsh Working Conditions, Demand Change

Kogi Doctors Protest Harsh Working Conditions, Demand Change

Resident doctors at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja (FTHL) in Kogi State, Nigeria, staged a protest on Thursday, May 3, 2024, against alleged obnoxious policies and a severe shortage of manpower at the hospital. The doctors, carrying placards with various inscriptions, demanded an end to the casualization of doctors, payment of arrears, and improved working conditions.

Why this matters: The protest highlights the dire need for healthcare reform in Nigeria, where the lack of adequate resources and poor working conditions can have devastating consequences for patients and healthcare workers alike. If left unaddressed, this crisis could lead to a further brain drain of medical professionals, exacerbating the already strained healthcare system in the country.

The protesting doctors claimed that they had been working 48 hours without food and electricity, leading to exhaustion and health risks. They also alleged that their female colleagues have lost pregnancies due to the excessive workload. In 2020, the hospital had approximately 222 doctors, but over the past four years, many have left, leaving only 64 doctors to manage the 500-bed hospital.

One of the key demands of the doctors is the abolition of the "Gifnis" platform, which they claim is "devilish" and used to relieve doctors of their minimum wage and back pay. They also want the hospital management to recruit new doctors and staff to alleviate the workload and end the "no work, no pay" policy, which they say is being used to threaten them. "We want to work, not work and die. Don't kill us, stop using no work, no pay to threaten us," read one of the protest signs.

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Kogi State Chairman, Dr. Baoku Olusola, expressed solidarity with the protesting doctors, stating, "It is a sad day for us here in Kogi State... The doctors are angry and sad, and of course, NMA is by extension sad because of the event that is actually taking place at the Federal University Hospital Lokoja." He called on the Federal Government, led by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to intervene quickly and meet the demands of the doctors to prevent a collapse of the system.

Key Takeaways

  • Resident doctors at FTHL in Kogi State, Nigeria, protest against alleged obnoxious policies and severe staff shortage.
  • Doctors demand end to casualization, payment of arrears, and improved working conditions.
  • 64 doctors manage 500-bed hospital, leading to exhaustion and health risks, including miscarriages.
  • Doctors protest "no work, no pay" policy and "Gifnis" platform, which they claim relieves them of minimum wage and back pay.
  • Nigeria Medical Association calls on Federal Government to intervene and meet doctors' demands to prevent system collapse.