LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, going, going… patients groan as consultants, resident doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, pharmacists, physiotherapists resign

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Twenty medical and dental consultants, 18 resident doctors, 100 nurses, 10 laboratory scientists, six pharmacists, five physiotherapists, and 40 ward orderlies have resigned from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
And more professionals will follow suit.
It is believed the resignations may lead to the complete shut down of the institution.
The N24 billion teaching hospital established by the
administration of former Governor Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala became operational in 2011, when staff of the teaching hospital in Osogbo, Osun State, who are of Oyo State origin were directed to relocate as a a result of Oyo State Government circular.
Government desire was to directly benefit from the immense number of quality specialists in healthcare, and the need to fill the gap which had existed in the provision of more readily quality tertiary healthcare services to the people of the state, especially Oyo, Ogbomoso and Oke-ogun areas.
However, five years after take-off of the teaching hospital, some key equipment contracted are yet to be fully supplied despite payments while many equipment that were procured and supplied in 2011 before the take off of the hospital are yet to be installed.
This, findings revealed, is due to non-completion of ancillary
structures needed for their installation to function.
Some of these equipment include the Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI], Dental complex, patients’ elevator systems and the integrated Information Technology systems, among others.
At a media briefing on Thursday in Ogbomoso , Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Dr. Afolabi Salawu, who disclosed the mass resignation, said the health institution could be saved from extinction only if the  state government stops forthwith payment of 50 per cent salary to the staff, and pay without any further delay, arrears of 50 per cent salaries of
January to April, as well as 100 per cent of May to November
last year.
Dr. Salawu, who is also Chairman, Committee of all workers’ unions in the hospital, said despite obvious challenges, the hospital has grown exponentially through sacrifices and financial commitment of staff towards ensuring survival and smooth running, as well fulfilment of aspiration of government and the people of the state.
“The dedication and determination of all staff within five years of existence, had resulted in 90 per cent accreditations for Postgraduate Medical Training, and had produced Specialist Medical Consultants from among residents trained in the hospital. The performance of our resident doctors at various postgraduate examinations has been highly commendable, and sometimes much better than some of the more established training centres in the country”.
This, according to him, was in addition to accreditation of medicine undergraduate programme withdrawn in 2010, increase in MBSS quota from fifty to seventy-five students, mainly because of additional facilities in the health institution.
On salary situation, Salawu regretted that arrears of salaries
are being owed all categories of workers since January 2016.
Said he: “Oyo State Government had been paying the wages of the teaching hospital staff full until January 2016 when the health institution, we learnt, was erroneously classified as a Tertiary Educational Institution’’’.
Government, it was gathered, paid only 50 per cent of January to April 2016 salaries.
 The first salary last year, which was 50 per cent of January
salary, was received in August 2016.
Government, therefore, owes the staff 50 per cent balance of January to April, and a hundred per cent of May to November 2016.
For clarity of purpose, the last 50 per cent salary, which was
intended to be April 2016 salary, was paid in October 2016.
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association chairman lamented that while every category of workers in other health institutions in the state were paid hundred per cent of their salaries from January to April last year, only LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, was singled out for 50 per cent of salary payment.
LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, he noted, has erroneously been classified by government as a tertiary educational institution, and charged with the responsibility to generate the 50 per cent of its monthly wage bill.
“The teaching hospital, for clarity and emphasis, does not own any students, but rather facilitates trainings of students of College of Health Sciences of the university, and does not charge or receive any fee from either the students or university for these services”.
“Health-care services are social services and this cannot be
commercialised, and no teaching hospital can charge commensurate fees for its service without pricing itself out of affordability of the populace. There is no federal or state teaching hospital that generates up to 10 per cent of their monthly wage bill. Teaching hospitals are not tertiary educational institutions.  A teaching hospital serves as clinical laboratory to University”.
Salawu hinted journalists that the teaching hospital took up the matter of misconception about its status with members of the State House of Assembly,  top government officials, but all to no avail.
It was learned that most of the contracts were awarded before resumption of the Consultants, as the amount of money
collected by the contractors does not commensurate with the equipment supplied to the teaching hospital.
Though, about 55 per cent of equipment had so far been
supplied, the remaining 45 per cent equipment that are yet to
be supplied by contractors are very vital and critical to optimal service delivery of the teaching hospital.
Similarly, both the management and Consultant were said to be mounting pressures on the government and State House of Assembly towards taking stern decisions on the contractors for defaults, but to no avail.
Salawu, who wondered how long does it take for Government to correct its own error of classifying the health institution as
tertiary educational one, and why is the teaching hospital, the only one in the state till date being paid half salary since January 2016, warned that if this trend continues, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso will soon go into extinction in a short while.
He said access to healthcare must not be taken away from the reach of the common man.
However, finding at some of the hospital wards showed patients groaning  and lamenting due to shortage of
medical and health personnel.
Two of the patients told our correspondent, amid tears and on condition of anonymity, that for the past two weeks, they have been coming to the hospital for tests, they could not be attended to at the hospital, as a result of mass resignation of both medical, dental and other health personnel.