BY MATTHEW DENIS
The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), will today resume duty after embarking on a one week warning strike.
The workers had embarked on the industrial action having accused the outgoing Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo of being insensitive to their plight.
During a visit by our reporter to the hospital, last Friday, the facility was deserted by health workers leaving only medical doctors, cleaners and security personnel on ground.
The emergency and accident ward was also empty with only two security men at the entrance. Also, the Specialist clinic complex was disserted by both patients and health workers.
Families of some patients had to relocate their sick ones to private hospitals for medical attention.
Confirming an end to the strike, yesterday, JOHESU Chairman, UITH, Comrade Olatunde Oluwawunmi said,” We are calling off the warning strike tomorrow (Thursday) as the Chief Medical Director is exiting office on Friday.
“We have held several meetings with the stakeholders and security agencies and they have pleaded with us to resume work with a promise that our demands will be met.
“The Directorate of State Security in particular assured of intervention on the issue and as the CMD is leaving on Friday, we want to ensure that the new CMD doesn’t take our plea with levity,” he stated.
According to him, the list of the demands to be attended to by the incoming Chief Medical Director include; inadequate drugs, insufficient equipment, payment of 2009 and 2011 promotion arrears, among others.
“Also, there is no water in the hospital, no electricity supply and we operate on obsolete equipment. What we have discovered is that Prof. Olatinwo does not have the interest of the hospital at heart.”
Meanwhile, as Prof. Olatinwo will tomorrow bow out of office after eight years in charge, the names of his likely successor have been reduced to two by the Governing Council. The two frontliners are; Professor Abdullah Da Silva Yusuf of Behavioural Sciences Dept and a former Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee(2011-2015), Professor B.S Alabi, who hails from Ajikobi ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. Alabi is of the Department of Orthorhinolaryngology.
Eight years ago, Prof. Yusuf almost got the nod ahead of the outgoing CMD, Olatinwo but for some late changes.
Should the Governing Council fail to name a substantive CMD before Friday, the present Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Prof. Yinka Buhari, who is the next in hierarchy will take over in acting capacity.
Under Olatinwo’s stewardship, he erected some structures including, the Cardiothoracic, Malaria Research, and Infection Control Centre. UITH also conducted its first renal transplant and open heart surgery in addition to 275 surgeries in nine months for indigent patients.
Olatinwo recently built a new library as well as senior consultants building which was commissioned by the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole.
Speaking on the tenure of the outgoing CMD, a staff of UITH who pleaded anonymity said, “He did the best he could and even increased the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the hospital. The CMD also erected new structures and he will be remembered for moving the hospital to our permanent site at Oke-Oyi.
“However, Prof Olatinwo failed to make staff welfare a priority, leading to the number of industrial action under his administration. You will remember, we embarked on 107days strike in 2016, leaving the patients at the mercy of private hospitals, the source said.