A young doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Idi-Araba passed away during a church service on Sunday. The doctor had just completed a continuous 72-hour surgery at the neurosurgery unit without taking a break.
The Association of Resident Doctors shared this information in a letter to the chief medical director of LUTH.
According to Peoples Gazette, the doctors claimed that their senior colleagues were bullying them, assigning them long and stressful on-call hours without breaks, and not providing proper food and accommodation.
The letter titled, ‘An Appeal By The House Officers Of LUTH’ stated, “We the house officers are in deep grief over the loss of our colleague, a co-House officer (Dr Umoh Michael) who died on 17th September, 2023, after having a 72hrs call in Neurosurgery Unit. He is said to have been on call 72hrs before arriving home on Sunday morning to get set for church service, reaching his worship center (United Evangelical Church) where he slumped in the church at about 11am.”
The protest letter added, “His roommate attested to the fact that Umoh Michael has barely slept in their apartment over the past one week as he was always on call or the day he returns home is around 3am after surgeries and other activities in Neurosurgery Unit.”
The letter pointed out that the doctors “have long standing challenges since we resumed housemanship here and one most striking challenge is the bullying we received from our senior colleagues, stressful call hours without breaks in between, no call food, no good accommodation.”
They demanded that “house officers who did call the previous day, should be allowed either half day the next day or allowed to resume work by midday the following day” and that “house officers should not be made to work 48hrs at stretch.”
“The compulsory House check at the beginning of House job should be free or grossly subsidised for House officers. Our senior colleagues (senior registers and registrars) should make the work environmentally friendly for us; House officers should not do work of potters, nurses or patient relatives,” added the letter.