Nigerian Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike Over Taxes
Harder times await patients seeking medical care as Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, on Tuesday embarked on an indefinite strike. The doctors, under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), commenced the indefinite strike over the implementation of a new tax law which they described as exorbitant and lacking uniform application.
The doctors alleged that the Management of LUTH had been deducting huge amounts from their monthly salaries as tax. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) found that the Outpatient Ward was desolate because the doctors were no longer attending to them.
Consequently, there are virtually no doctors on duty to attend to hundreds of patients who besieged the health facilities in search of essential healthcare and in some cases, life-saving health services. An executive officer of the ARD, who sought anonymity, said the strike was meant to compel the management of the institution to revert to the old tax system. “All is not well with LUTH; we feel cheated with the tax deduction imposed on us.
“We do not understand how our income tax is higher and differs greatly from that of our colleagues in similar institutions. “The management has over-applied the Federal Government’s new tax law, without bothering to consult with us, ’’ the ARD official told NAN.
The striking doctors had on December 4 embarked on a three-day warning strike to seek a review of the tax by the LUTH management. Professsor Akin Osibogun, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, had confirmed that the tax deduction was as a result of the new income tax law.
LUTH’s Chief Medical Director, Osibogun told reporters last week during the three-day warning strike by the ARD that: “People need to be properly educated on tax payment and adapt to it, as obtainable in the Western countries.