UCH staff to close at 4:00 p.m. as IBEDC cuts off power supply

Staff at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan will work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day beginning Tuesday, April 2, until electricity is restored to the hospital.

Oludayo Olabampe, chairman of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), the umbrella group of hospital unions, made the announcement during an interview in Ibadan on Tuesday.

The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) stopped UCH’s power supply due to suspected accrued debt.

Mr Olabampe stated that the college hospital had been without electricity since March 19 and could not continue in this manner.

The chairman explained that “workers would now work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. only because it is dangerous and risky to attend to patients in that situation.”

Mr Olabampe added, “We held a meeting with the management this morning but the issue is that there is no electricity. So, from today, Tuesday, April 2, we will work until 4:00 p.m. we are not attending to any patient after 4:00 p.m.

“This means that we won’t admit patients because the nurses that will take care of them will not be available after 4:00 p.m., and you don’t expect patients to be on their own from 4:00 p.m. till 8:00 a.m. the following day.”

He noted that “if patients need blood tests, the lab will not work” and “if they need radiography, the radiographers will not work.”

“The dieticians in charge of their food, too, will not work after 4:00 p.m. We also gave management another 14-day ultimatum, which started counting from March 27, and if, after 14 days, power is not restored, we will embark on a seven-day warning strike,” said the union leader.

Reacting to the move, the UCH chief medical director, Jesse Otegbayo, said the union did not officially write the management before taking such a decision.

He said, “I have not heard about that. If they are going to do that, they should write to management officially, and then the management will respond. There are rules that govern government service. You can’t just decide what hours you work and expect to be paid full-time.

“If they go ahead to do that without informing management officially, management has a way of applying the rules to pay them for the number of hours which they worked.

“The proper thing is for them to put it in writing because they didn’t write officially to the management before taking the decision,” Mr Otegbayo said.