• News - South West - Oyo
  • Updated: April 03, 2024

UCH doctors down tools over electricity disconnection

UCH doctors down tools over electricity disconnection

Doctors at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan will be suspending night shifts and initiating a strike action starting Tuesday, April 2nd. This comes after a two-week ultimatum issued on March 27th regarding the hospital's ongoing power outage.

The decision to strike stems from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnecting power supply to the hospital due to an outstanding debt of N495 million, according to the UCH Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Funmilayo Adetuyibi, in an interview with the PUNCH.

Giving reasons for the disconnection, the Ibadan DisCo said it disconnected the hospital after attempts to engage with the hospital’s management regarding the N495m debt, which it said had persisted for over six years.

But the UCH spokesperson had last week denied owing N495m, saying the current UCH administration, led by Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, assumed office on March 1, 2019, and inherited over N27m as of February 27, 2019.

She added that it had since ensured the monthly payment of bills brought by IBEDC.

Adetuyibi said the hospital needed help to settle the debt, stating that it was soliciting funds.

“The truth of the matter is that we are owing IBEDC and we need help. Help is the main thing. We are soliciting for funds; help is what we need.

“The amount is N495m; leave it at N495m. There was an error while we were sending the rejoinder, which I rectified and sent the corrected version. So, let’s leave all these and let’s look for help.

“That’s what we actually need. It’s the help that we need,” she said

The Joint Action Committee Chairman, Oludayo Olabampe, confirmed the strike action will significantly impact patient care. With no doctors available after 4:00 pm, existing patients may need to be discharged, and new admissions will be halted.

The initial plan involved downscaling services, but the lack of resolution regarding the power situation has escalated the situation to a full-blown strike. The doctors have emphasized that this action will continue for seven days, acting as a warning, unless the power supply is restored.

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