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Tragedy Strikes: Doctor Collapses and Dies During Grueling 72-Hour Shift at Lagos University Teaching Hospital

September 20, 2023

In a heartbreaking turn of events, a dedicated medical doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, lost his life during a Sunday church service after an exhausting 72-hour surgery stint at the neurosurgery unit. This tragic incident has shed light on the working conditions faced by doctors at LUTH.

The Association of Resident Doctors voiced their concerns in a letter dated September 19, which was addressed to LUTH’s chief medical director. In their letter, the doctors accused their senior colleagues of subjecting them to bullying, grueling call hours without adequate breaks, and a lack of essential provisions such as food and suitable accommodation.

The letter, titled ‘An Appeal By The House Officers Of LUTH,’ detailed the circumstances surrounding the young doctor’s untimely demise. It stated, “We the house officers are in deep grief over the loss of our colleague, a co-House officer (Dr. Umoh Michael) who died on 17th September, 2023, after having a 72hrs call in Neurosurgery Unit. He is said to have been on call 72hrs before arriving home on Sunday morning to get set for church service, reaching his worship center (United Evangelical Church) where he slumped in the church at about 11 am.”

The letter went on to reveal the extreme work conditions faced by the doctors, with one house officer’s roommate attesting that Dr. Umoh Michael had barely slept in their apartment over the past week due to continuous calls and late-night surgeries.

Among their demands, the doctors called for reasonable working hours, allowing house officers who had been on call the previous day to either have a half-day off or begin work at midday. They also emphasized the importance of creating a supportive and friendly work environment, highlighting that house officers should not be tasked with duties beyond their medical responsibilities.

At the time of reporting, the teaching hospital had not responded to the concerns raised by the doctors. This tragic incident serves as a poignant

reminder of the immense challenges faced by medical professionals on the front lines and underscores the urgent need for reforms to improve their working conditions and well-being.

Source: Peoples Gazette


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