Doctors protest with coffin as JUTH sacks 68

The crisis in the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, deepened on Wednesday when about 400 resident doctors took to the streets with a mock coffin to express their grievances against the management.

As early as 8.30 am, the aggrieved doctors had laid siege to the complex of the hospital, protesting against the alleged dictatorial tendencies of its Chief Medical Director, Prof. Edmund Banwat.

The Chairman, National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, JUTH Chapter, Dr. Paul Agbo, who led the protesters, said that they were protesting against the sacking of over 68 doctors between August 28, 2017 and January 8, 2018 by Banwat.

The doctors’ grievances included the alleged disregard for the order of the National Industrial Court in Abuja, which stopped the sacking of doctors in JUTH.

The doctors carried placards with inscriptions including ‘Come and rescue JUTH,’ ‘Illegal sacking by illegal CMD,’ ‘Prof. Banwat, your tenure as CMD is over,’ and ‘Rest in peace to the many souls killed by bad leadership.’

Agbo added, “We are therefore calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene because it is beyond the minister of health. The tenure of the CMD lapsed on December 31, 2017 and the President should appoint another person.

“Banwat doesn’t have any letter to say he is acting; he doesn’t have any letter to say he is the CMD. So, why is he still there? We will therefore sustain this struggle because we have our means to do it.”

Also speaking during the protest, the Senior Registrar, Department of Psychiatric Medicine, Dr. Lugbuola Bamidele, said “public-spirited individuals” should intervene and save JUTH from an avoidable crisis.

“I strongly believe that public-spirited individuals would have to come in and talk to the CMD because senior and experienced personnel are leaving the system.

“They have extended some of these postings and the six years is no longer a reality. We really crave for extension and this extension can only come from higher authorities since our CMD is bent on sustaining the conventional six years.”

However, the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee in JUTH, Dr. Jonathan Karshima, said, “What I know is that they came for residency on a tenure of six years and if that expires, they are expected to go. From day one, they were given letters that their tenure would expire after six years. But if you have any genuine reason, we will look into it.

“Their tenure expired and they were asked to go. Those who were asked to go felt aggrieved about that.”

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