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Doctor dies after 72-hour non-stop shift in Lagos



LUTH medical doctor, Dr. Umoh Michael died on September 17, 2023

A medical doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, died during a Sunday church service after performing a 72-hour surgery without a break at the neurosurgery unit.

The Association of Resident Doctors made the announcement in a letter to LUTH’s chief medical director dated September 19.

The doctors accused their senior colleagues of abusing them, assigning them gruelling call hours with no breaks, and failing to provide adequate food and lodging.

The letter titled ‘An Appeal By The House Officers Of LUTH’ 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 September 17, 2023, after having a 72-hour call in the Neurosurgery Unit. He is said to have been on call for 72 hours before arriving home on Sunday morning to get set for church service, reaching his worship centre (United Evangelical Church), where he slumped in the church at about 11 a.m.”

The protest letter added, “His roommate attested to the fact that Umoh Michael has barely slept in their apartment over the past one week as he was always on call, or the day he returns home is around 3 a.m. after surgeries and other activities in the Neurosurgery Unit.”


The letter pointed out that the doctors “have had long-standing challenges since we resumed housekeeping here, and one most striking challenge is the bullying we received from our senior colleagues: stressful call hours without breaks in between, no call food, no good accommodation.”

They demanded that “house officers who did call the previous day should be allowed either half day the next day or allowed to resume work by midday the following day” and that “house officers should not be made to work 48 hours at stretch.”

“The compulsory house check at the beginning of the house job should be free or grossly subsidized for house officers. Our senior colleagues (senior registers and registrars) should make the work environmentally friendly for us; house officers should not do the work of potters, nurses, or patient relatives,” added the letter.

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