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Health Workers Shut Down Benue Varsity Teaching Hospital
Date Posted: 22/Oct/2018
Clinical services at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi have been paralysed for the past one month following a strike embarked upon by Joint Health Sector Union of Nigeria (JOHESUN).
 
The union is protesting against alleged high-handedness of the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Terlumun Swende, which has resulted in poor facilities for members of staff and patients, non-payment of promotion arrears and poor working conditions.
 
Consequently, patients are leaving deserted the hospital for the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Makurdi and other private hospitals for treatment.
 
Chairman of JOHESUN at BSUTH, Tahav Kershio, told newsmen that the union decided to embark on the strike since that was the only language management of the institution seem to understand.
 
The Guardian learnt that there is irregular supply of electricity and water at the hospital, even as water from the only available borehole is unfit for use.
 
It was also learnt that there is shortage of nurses and other auxiliary staff as one nurse mans two wards with an average of between 15 and 20 patients on admission.
 
“There are no porters, and as such the nurses work alone without attendants, thereby making it difficult for them to deliver efficient services.
 
Again, plastic chairs for patients and bed have broken down without replacement thereby making things difficult for people to stay with their sick relatives.
 
Some of the aggrieved members of staff who spoke with The Guardian said the CMD also disobeyed Governor Samuel Ortom’s earlier directives to promote staff and await payments.
 
They said the CMD has no good working relationship with heads of departments and consultants, as most of them have left the hospital because the CMD takes decisions on their departments without consulting them.
 
“For instance, in 2016 Governor Ortom set up a committee to find out why there are so many strikes in the Teaching Hospital. The Committee submitted a report but nothing has been done since two years because of the CMD’s cruel attitude towards workers’ welfare.
 
“He has attracted nothing to the university, no donations, no sponsorships of any kind and no vehicles. As such, the BSUTH is just a gigantic building, as most services have collapsed under the CMD’s two-year administration,” they said.
 
A consultant at the Teaching Hospital who spoke to The Guardian, lamented that instead of trying to attract more consultants, the available ones have left even as visiting ones have also stopped coming due to the CMD’s rude and un-cooperative attitude.
 
Attempts to reach Swede through the telephone failed, as he did not take his calls, but the hospital’s Deputy Director of Public Relations, Cephas Hough, said on telephone that he needed management’s approval before responding to enquiries.
 
By: Joseph Wantu, Makurdi
The Guardian News

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