Medical students under the aegis of Imo State University Medical students hit the street of the state capital Owerri in protest at the state of affairs at IMSUTH. The students had earlier mobilized themselves using the hashtag #SaveImsuth and have vowed to continue the struggle despite the harassment and tear gas they received from security agents during the peaceful protest carried out on the 15th of October 2015.
The protesting students stated that there is no hope of retaining the MDCN (Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria) accreditation by the end of the year due to the inadequate number of doctors and lecturers.
“I have spent 12 years in medical school yet I've been unable to graduate from the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) due to unprofessional policies and inadequate medical personnel and facilities for training. When I gained admission to study medicine at IMSU, my kid brother was in primary three, now he is in the University and I am yet to graduate. This is frustrating and unhealthy for the medical profession.”
Their agitations according to Isaiah Ume include:
1. Hospital shut-down as a result of doctors strike for four months and still counting combined with the indefinite deferment of cancelled examinations.
2. Under-staffing of various departments and more than 10 years stay in medical school.
3. Poor infrastructure plus insecurity.
The students however proferred the following solutions to the quagmire:
1. Payment of resident doctors, employment of more staff especially in the department of paediatrics, internal medicine and pathology.
2. Ensure we retain our MDCN accreditation, expand the hospital, and increase our quota for graduating doctors for the more than 10 years in medical school.
3. Completion of pathology laboratory and auditorium and an additional hostel.
Fair demands I must say. Spending 10 years in medical school is a nightmare-- and this I know from experience.
I was in in my fourth year in medical school when my sister gained admission to study Law in the same university as me-- like a cruel joke she graduated from Law and completed law school and I still wasn't a licensed Doctor. So I know the system can really stick it to you sometimes.