Oyo State Government said it was making efforts to restructure and transform Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, made this known in a statement in Ibadan on Sunday in reaction to the statement by LAUTECH striking doctors.
The striking doctors had in a statement on Saturday accused the Oyo State Government of “playing politics with their welfare and putting people’s lives at risk.”
The doctors stated that the state government was owing them 12 months’ salary arrears, among several other problems bordering on their working conditions.
However, the health commissioner said “the state government had made relentless efforts to restructure and transform the hospital and would soon be fruitful.”
He added that “in the fullness of time, there would be new lease of life at the hospital. The new restructuring and transformation processes must fully pass through the civil service rules and procedures.”
Adeduntan dismissed the allegation of playing politics with welfare of the striking doctors, saying he always exhibited professional conduct and never acted as a politician.
“I feel the pains of the resident doctors and their desire for quick fixes and immediate results but the civil service rules and procedures must be duly followed to restructure and transform the hospital.
“I facilitated the delivery of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi’s programmes in the health sector, including medical equipment worth two million dollars brought from the U.S. and Free Health Mission for residents of the state.
“I also facilitated the Health Insurance Scheme that provides free medical care to pregnant women and children from 0-5 years and the N50 billion Healthcare Endowment Fund to transform health care facilities and improve health workers’ working conditions.”
He said such efforts were made with good intentions, adding that he ought not to be mistaken for someone who gave excuses or put the lives of citizens at risk as alleged by the doctors.
The doctors embarked on industrial action over unpaid salaries and poor working conditions.
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) said their members withdrew their services
indefinitely, noting that the management, board and state government were aware of the industrial crisis.
It said their members were being paid only 28 per cent of their salary since January 2016, with 12 months salary being owed.
“Our action is as a result of poor working conditions, persistent payment of percentage salary and poor funding of residency training.
“There is also the problem of dearth of man power, incomplete infrastructure development and neglect of hospital to mention a few,” the doctors added.