Health care services at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, were once again disrupted on Thursday as doctors from the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) held a peaceful protest to express their outrage over the assault on a female doctor.
Protesters carried posters that said, “Doctors are not punching bags, stop beating those who take care of you,” as they marched through the hospital’s outpatient clinics and service stations. “Let UCH doctors breathe,” “We save lives; don’t take ours,” and “Don’t kill us at work.”
They also chanted messages such as “don’t attack, nurses, doctors, or other health workers, we are only working to save lives” and “we say no to assault or violence on any health worker in UCH.”
They claimed that on August 29, 2023, a female doctor was assaulted at the hospital’s department of radiology while performing her clinical duties.
She was allegedly struck on the face multiple times by a patient’s relative in response to the hospital’s power outage, which prevented him from performing the CT scan he needed on his patient.
Speaking on the doctors’ protest, Dr Abiodun Ogundipe, President of ARD, University College Hospital, Ibadan, said it is a despicable act for health workers to be assaulted by patient’s relatives while saving lives, especially with the emigration of health workers and few health workers in government hospitals to attend to patients.
While stating that there will be no assaults on physicians and other healthcare workers at the hospital, Ogundipe stated that the protest was intended to alert the public that any assault or violence against health workers in the hospital will no longer be permitted.
“We strongly condemn any assault on our colleagues and other healthcare workers at UCH, Ibadan.” More than five doctors have been attacked on hospital grounds in the last two years, and we do not want to see this happen again.”
“We won’t say anything until they kill us.” That is why we have spoken out against this action.”
“The entire public needs to know that the association and hospital have a zero-tolerance policy for assault and violence against medical doctors and other healthcare workers.”
“Anyone who engages in such heinous acts would be arrested and subjected to the full force of the law.”
In response, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, stated that the assailant was promptly given over to the police force for prosecution because the hospital considers it inhumane, unjustified, and undesirable.
Professor Otegbayo stated that members of the public should exercise some level of decorum when seeking medical care in the hospital, and that patients and their relatives who are dissatisfied with services received at any service point should direct their complaints and grievances to SERVICOM officers for appropriate investigation and redress.
He did, however, say that the hospital had written a letter of compassion to the afflicted doctor, and that the assailant, who was released on bail with three sureties and N100,000 from the Yemetu police station in Ibadan, would be arraigned in court to face the wrath of the law.