Benjamin Olowojebutu, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) for Lagos State zone, has called for the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) to take responsibility and issue an apology regarding the tragic incident involving the death of Dr. Diaso Vwaere.
Speaking on a live TV program on Friday, Olowojebutu expressed his disappointment in LASIMRA’s handling of the situation. He believed that the agency should have promptly apologized for the failure in their system, which led to such a tragic loss.
Dr. Diaso Vwaere, who was just two weeks away from completing her one-year housemanship program, tragically passed away on Tuesday at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island. Her death was attributed to a mechanical failure of one of the elevators in the hospital.
The NMA released a statement on Wednesday revealing that the doctor had been trapped in the elevator for over 40 minutes before she was rescued, which further highlighted the poor maintenance and control systems of the building.
Olowojebutu’s call for an apology reflects the concern over the safety and infrastructure issues that need urgent attention to prevent such avoidable tragedies in the future.
“Apparently, the Managing Director (MD) of the hospital does not have a role in maintaining that building. You have a building in your facility you don’t have control over! I think it’s very wrong,” he said.
The NMA chairman also lamented the gap in bureaucratic processes resulting in a lack of accountability and enabling suppression in the system.
“They say LASIMRA are the ones in charge of the quarters, but they don’t answer to the medical director. There is no control, no collaboration, no accountability. I think it’s a procedural error, which is one of our recommendations.
“If you have a building in the hospital that houses medical doctors, the MD of that hospital should be in charge or should know about it or should get correspondence daily, maybe every month on maintenance.
He added that multiple lives would have been lost, adding that resident doctors should be fully aware of emergency authorities.
“The point is that if you want the doctors to live in a place, let the doctors be in charge of the place, maintain the place and give them the requisite understanding that these are people that they are answerable to,” he said.
“For me now, there is no supervision, Who are you accountable to? In that same building, there is no water, there is no light. They’ve complained multiple times to this agency, but the lack of accountability, the lassitude, and the fact that they commonise people’s complaints is painful.”
Olowojebutu claims that the association intends to exploit the passing of Vwaere to alter the state’s perception of health care, the supervisory position, and the love for the common man in order to more accurately represent the state motto.
In protest of Vwaere’s passing, the NMA in Lagos announced an indefinite strike on Wednesday at three hospitals.
The group expressed its condolences to her family, friends, and coworkers while simultaneously announcing five days of mourning and making a number of requests.
The state administration expressed its condolences to the family on Wednesday and expressed astonishment at the passing.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Lagos State Health Service Commission, the Lagos State Safety Commission, and certified Lift and Vertical Transportation Equipment authorities were involved in the announcement that an investigation had begun.