The Lagos University Teaching Hospital Association of Resident Doctors (LUTH-ARD) has appealed to the Federal Government to wade into the crisis over the non-payment of salaries to some health workers who are in the forefront of the battle to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The association said 40 of its members have not been paid in the last five to eight months.
President of ARD, Judith Jolayemi who spoke to Daily Sun said: “This is a critical time for health workers and it is not fair that doctors would be begging for their salary.”
She blamed the inability of some doctors to be paid their salaries on the challenge of capturing them in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) scheme.
“The IPPIS staff comes from Abuja to Lagos to capture the resident doctors and once this is done, you are automatically in the payroll and salary starts coming in from that point. However, some of these doctors were recently employed, and because of COVID-19 lockdown, it has been difficult for staff of the IPPIS to come down to Lagos to do the capturing. While that process is on, there should be some form of payment from locally generated funds. Doctors should be paid on a temporarily ground,” she said.
Jolayemi also complained that healthcare workers lacked basic protective equipment to work with as they battle COVID-19 in LUTH.
“As we speak, there are not enough face mask, gloves and even protective garments. Doctors still work in the Accident and Emergency (A&U) unit without being properly equipped. There are some doctors who are on isolation who got exposed from another LUTH doctor who is COVID-19 positive. Now, you asked them to self isolate, how are they going to cope, these doctors have wives and kids and you expect them to go on 14-days with nothing to treat or cater for themselves,” Jolayemi said.
General Secretary, ARD, Dr. Hassan Jimoh, also lamented the non-payment of salaries to doctors due to the fact that they have not been enrolled in the IPPIS platform even as he decried the absence of protective kits for doctors in LUTH.
“They are not enough personal protective equipment (PPEs) especially the A&E unit considering the fact that LUTH is one of the biggest hospitals in Lagos where a number of patients whom we do not know their health history come in.
“You cannot turn them down, which puts some members at risk.The management of LUTH should borrow a leaf from the Lagos State government and give doctors some stimulus to cushion the effect of the hardship this pandemic has caused countries all over the world,” he said.
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, said the doctors that were not being paid were those who were newly employed before the outbreak of OVID-19. According to him, the management has about 80 doctors in its payroll, so the ones that were not paid was due to the fact that those in-charge of IPPIS from Abuja could not come to Lagos to capture the newly employed doctors because of the lockdown.