The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday threatened to embark on a face-off with Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State for treating the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso as a personal business venture rather than a health and research centre.

Addressing the press yesterday at its Total Garden, Ibadan Secretariat, the Oyo State branch Chairman of NMA, Dr. Mojisola Atalabi, flanked by the immediate past chairman of the association, Dr. Muideen Olatunji, as well as the leadership of the association in the state, threatened that all medical doctors in Nigeria would embark on a face-off with Ajimobi’s government if his administration failed to give them deserved treatment.

To drive home their grievance, the association put forward seven demands which it said must be met as soon as possible in order to prevent the “avoidable crisis” before it degenerates “into state’s debacles”.

Noting that the press conference was called with the knowledge of the association’s National President, Prof Mike Ogirima, saying every action taken would be supported by the national body of NMA, Dr. Atalabi raised a series of accusations against Ajimobi’s government regarding ill-treatment of the medical personnel in the institution, among which was inadequate payment of their salaries.

The NMA alleged that the state government was treating the health facility like a business venture, and “wrongly classified the teaching hospital as an educational institution that naturally has a Ministry of Education as its supervisory ministry, as opposed to the Ministry of Health. Teaching hospitals are for research, teaching and health care services delivery.

Atalabi said: “This, we believe, is too basic for the government to understand. The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan was established in 1957 by the visionary leaders of the nation. As at the time and till date, the hospital has not run as a business venture, despite aggressive internal revenue drive. Then, why would Oyo State toy with an anti-masses agenda that will further impoverish the poor masses of the state and abrogate their lives?

“It is imperative to further appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians and other stakeholders within and outside the sector to as a matter of urgency intervene and appeal to Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the executive governor of Oyo State, before this avoidable crisis degenerates into the state’s debacles.”

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