Healthcare services suffered a setback yesterday, as interns at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos, protested non-payment of seven months salaries, disrupting healthcare services.
The interns comprising doctors, pharmacists and others, vowed that they would not return to work until arrears of salaries were paid in full.
The aggrieved interns lamented that some of them had not received any salary since they began their internship in January, this year.
For fear of victimisation, most of the protesters who expressed their minds, did so on condition of anonymity. They said, although they had lodged several complaints through their association, they were yet to get any response from the hospital’s management and the Federal Government on when their salaries would be paid.
Spokesperson of the interns said: “We will not go back to work until every one of us has been paid to the last kobo. We work day and night in this hospital without complain, but the only thing government knows is strike. We work like slaves, yet we are still struggling to feed.
“We cannot pay our rents. Those living outside the premises cannot afford the transport fares to work. We are struggling to feed and they expect us to keep quiet because we are interns, we will not. This is not the first time this is happening, but it will stop with us.”
In its response, the management of LUTH attributed the development to implementation of the newly introduced centralised Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS.
Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Professor Akin Osibogun, while speaking with Vanguard, blamed the situation on the newly introduced IPPIS.
According to him, the unpaid salaries would be paid by the Federal Government. He denied involvement of the hospital management in the problem, saying “they are to be paid through Federal Government’s IPPIS recently introduced by the government.
“The programme has been introduced in six Teaching Hospitals out of the 55 Federal government-owned facilities and will be extended to others later. I believe it is a teething problem that will be resolved very soon. It is a new programme and government will pay them all their entitlements in full. The salaries will come from Abuja and not the hospital,” Osibogun said,