By MONICA OMACHI
Standard services were disrupted for a few hours yesterday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH) as doctors and security officers engaged each other in scuffle over possession of an office space within the hospital’s locations.
It was gathered by witnesses that, the office in question which served as the secretariat of the LUTH branch of the Association of Resident Doctors, LUTH-ARD, had earlier been occupied by the hospital management two days ago.
But the move was resisted by the aggrieved doctors. Findings revealed that in the process, some of the doctors and the security officers were wounded and the Police had to be invited to bring the situation under control.
While some of the doctors claimed that the LUTH management had sent security personnel to take over their secretariat around 2am on Wednesday, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof Chris Bode, said the hospital had occupied the space as it has become a security threat.
Bode in telephone chat with Vanguard explained that the hospital had issued a quit notice to the doctors more than six months ago and was hoping to put the space into use, possibly as hospital wards.
He said the hospital early this month, issued another notice and swung into action after the notice elapsed a week ago.
Reports was received about the place being a security threat to the whole hospital. We had to tell them to move out of the place. Notice was served November, which lapsed about a week ago and 2 days ago the hospital took control of the place.
“Before then there had been several reports of a small caucus threatening the lives of staff, yesterday they were brazenly threatening the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, so no answerable management takes that kind of thing lightly.
“And today they carried out their threat. A security man was stabbed, two other assaulted security men are receiving attention right now.
“When doctors resort to this kind of behavior it becomes worrisome. Last week they invited unknown people to come into the hospital to cause havoc and also sent other messages that they should invade LUTH.”
Responding, LUTH Chairman, ARD, Dr. Adebayo Sekunmade, said though the management had served them two eviction notices to quit the secretariat, they had pleaded with the authorities to give them time to get an unconventional location.