LUTH Doctor Dies After 72-Hour Surgery Without A Break, Colleagues Protest Bullying and Poor Welfare

A tragic incident occurred on Sunday, September 17, 2023, when a medical doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, collapsed and died during a church service.

The doctor, identified as Dr Umoh Michael, had just completed a 72-hour surgery without a break at the neurosurgery unit of the hospital.

His colleagues, the house officers of LUTH, expressed their grief and anger over his death in a letter addressed to the chief medical director of the hospital.

The letter, dated September 19, 2023, and titled ‘An Appeal By The House Officers Of LUTH’, accused the senior doctors of bullying them, giving them stressful call hours without breaks, and not providing feeding and good accommodation.

The letter stated that Dr Umoh Michael had barely slept in his apartment over the past one week as he was always on call or returned home around 3am after surgeries and other activities in the neurosurgery unit.

He was said to have arrived home on Sunday morning to get ready for church service, where he slumped at about 11am at the United Evangelical Church.

The letter demanded that the house officers should be allowed either half day or midday resumption the next day after doing call duty.

It also demanded that the house officers should not be made to work 48 hours at a stretch or do the work of potters, nurses or patient relatives.

 It further demanded that the compulsory house check at the beginning of house job should be free or grossly subsidised for house officers. It also appealed to the senior colleagues to make the work environment friendly for them.

However, some social media users reacted to the news of Dr Umoh Michael’s death and the plight of the house officers on X.

Some of them saluted his sacrifice and professionalism, while others condemned the poor working conditions and welfare of the doctors in Nigeria.

Some also called on the government and the hospital authorities to address the situation and prevent further loss of lives.

drfynrekins, tweeted, “I salute my Hippocratic colleague & wish him farewell on his journey to the great beyond. I hope #nmanigeria would come out strongly and protect these young doctors. These deaths are devastating and unacceptable, and it would further deplete the numbers of those practicing in Nigeria and discourage those still in medical school. Unfortunately, the young doctors are the ones bearing the brunt of the decay in the healthcare system in Nigeria but this trend must be stopped.”

Another X user, Doingood, tweeted, “We all need to be resting. Employers should please help us. May his Soul RIP .”

OgechukwuChime tweeted, “He is taking care of others and forgot to take care of himself.”

Kuwait_magic also tweeted, “He lost his own life in the process of saving other people’s lives. God knows I can’t be this good. I no fit die to make you live.”

Camax3000 wrote, “Overworked, Rest in Peace.”

Mazi_Ibem tweeted, “Lagos State Government should get more doctors from the already saturated labour market to assist. The daily pressure these doctors go through affects their health as well.”

JoelUdanyi also wrote, “This is sad. Result of a health institution being understaffed…if not what else?”

“In a sane environment, it is a crime to work more than 11:30. You are entitled to 1-hour break as well,” Kasalimi2029 tweeted.

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Ilesanmi Adekanbi

Ilesanmi Adekanbi, writers and loves writing the story of politics, He is a movie addict. Adekanbi is a Senior Content Creator at Newsflash Nigeria contact me on email: [email protected]

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