First Victims Of Doctors’ Strike

Reactions start tracking the ongoing nationwide strike by doctors in public health institutions, which strike has paralysed health care services in the nation’s government’s hospitals.

Photo: Patient helped out of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital

Medical doctors in public hospitals complied with the directive of its national body, the Nigerian Medical Association, to embark on a five-day warning strike, which commenced on Wednesday.

Consequently, patients were not treated by medical doctors while those on admission were being taken to private hospitals by their relatives.

For example, at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex on Wednesday, doctors who belong to the various affiliates of the NMA were not at their duty posts.

It was observed by the journalist in one of the hospital in Ile –Ife, Osun State, that only nurses, pharmacists and other health workers were attending to the patients.

However, few doctors were seen attending to patients at the Virology Research Clinic where people living with HIV/AIDS receive their anti-retroviral drugs.

A doctor, who asked not to disclose his name, said they came to assist the patients to get their drugs so that their treatment would not be disrupted.

The President of Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital, Dr. Adeola Ajibare, in an interview with one of Punch correspondents in Osogbo, said,

“We don’t have any grouse with our patients and we are not happy to go on strike because our primary duty is to save lives. We know that anybody, including doctors and members of their families could fall sick or require urgent medical attention during the strike period.”

According to his words, they were forced to embark on an indefinite strike because of the government’s disregard.

Doctors in public health institutions in Benin, Edo State, also shunned work on Wednesday, so as doctors in major tertiary hospitals in Lagos State.

One of Punch journalists, who visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba; the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja; and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, observed that resident doctors, consultants and even house officers did not come to work.

As a result, relatives and patients were seen leaving LUTH in frustration as they were no doctors to attend to them.

Patients, who were rushed to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospitals, were advised to seek alternative treatment in private hospitals.

According to the Chairman of NMA in Plateau State, Dr. Chris Yiljwan, the warning strike was successful in public hospitals.

At the National Hospital, Abuja, many patients were stranded and were grumbling because there were no doctors to attend to them.

The five-day nationwide warning strike by doctors, under the aegis of the NMA, is to protest poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation’s health sector.
Source: Punch Nigeria


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