The immediate past president of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital branch, Dr. Oyinlola Oluwagbemiga and his successor, Dr. Ade Faponle, on Wednesday said that due to epileptic power supply in the hospital, doctors have had to use lamps, torchlight and phone lights to treat patients.
They stated that this anomaly posed a serious health hazard to the patient, adding that they have had to reschedule major procedures to avoid risking the lives of the patients because of frequent outages.
They spoke during a media briefing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the sidelines of the ongoing nationwide strike of the doctors.
Oluwagbemiga said, “There are certain procedures we embark upon, you have to complete them using your torchlight or phone lights. Imagine that you are in an emergency where you have to resuscitate a patient and you resort to that. It is that bad. It even stretches to sanitation.
“We have reached the point where you are having a major procedure and all you can hear is ‘please we can only supply light for the next two hours, make sure you complete your operation.’ And there are operations that last for four or more hours. So if you have such, you have to reschedule because you have been told ab-initio that you are on your own should you embark on such.”
The current ARD president, Faponle, also accused the hospitals management of short-changing their January and February salaries.
But the Director of Administration, UITH, Mr. Ganiyu Yusuf said the management of the hospital spent about N16m monthly on diesel and N3m monthly on electricity bill to the Ibadan Distribution Electricity Company.
Yusuf said the prevailing power challenge was a national problem and not peculiar to UITH.
He also said the major grouse of the doctors was the non-payment of their skipping allowances for January and February.
He stated that the Chief Medical Director, UITH, Dr. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo had devised the means to pay them their skipping allowances last year to ensure that peace reigned in the hospital.
He added that there was not budgetary provision for skipping allowances in the 2016 budget. According to him, Olatinwo even alerted the resident doctors on time on the development.
Yusuf said, “As management, we are not going to join issues with the resident doctors. But we are going to state the facts. It is not news that electricity generation in the country is bad. The problem affects everybody, not only the hospital. We spend N16m monthly to buy diesel. We have a 500KV generator and another 350kv generator, as well as many other smaller generators to power each unit and department.
“The N16m that we pay is different from the N3m that we pay to IBEDC every month. Imagine what N19m could have done, if we had steady power supply in the country.
“We have done what we could do as a management with the resources available. We have separate generators for many sections. If you turn on the light in the hospital because of the operations the doctors will do, we keep it running until 4pm. Even when the power is on, how many of the doctors are ready to perform surgeries? If we know that in our area power will come at a certain time, you programme your activities.
“We lost three people in an attempt to stabilise the power supply. One of them was electrocuted and another dropped in water. What we are trying to do is to link up with the university and take power from Ganmo. Imagine the huge cost.”