Patients in public hospitals across the country were stranded on Monday as members of the National Association of Resident Physicians (NARD) removed tools following the government’s failure to keep promises on salary payments , risk compensation, medical residency costs and COVID -19 allowance among others.
The Daily Trust results indicate that while patients admitted to some hospitals were hastily discharged and asked to leave hospitals, outpatients were denied access to health facilities.
In a statement released on Saturday after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Umuahia, Abia state said it would resume its national strike on Monday August 2, following the failure of the federal and state governments to respond to its requests and implement the memorandum of action after 113 days.
The association suspended its indefinite national strike earlier this year following a Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed at the request of the Minister of Labor, Senator Chris Ngige.
Our correspondents report that there was a high level of compliance by NARD chapters in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) and in the states.
Full FCT compliance
Audits at public hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) revealed that medical residents were in full compliance with the association’s strike directive.
Our reporter who visited Asokoro District Hospital as well as Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada observed that there was compliance.
Some patients who do not want their names printed told the reporter they were unaware of the industrial action until their visit to the hospital on Monday morning.
Some of them were waiting in outpatient departments and had to leave when told the doctors were on strike.
At Abuja National Hospital, no resident doctors were seen working as they fully complied with the strike. However, only emergency cases were taken care of while new patients were refused admission.
However, Abuja National Hospital spokesperson Dr Tayo Haastrup said the hospital is not turning down patients as consultants and has internal staff looking after them.
Yesterday, patients treated by nurses inside the emergency department of the University Hospital of Ilorin
Returned patients in Akwa Ibom, Ilorin
At Uyo University Teaching Hospital (UUTH) in Akwa Ibom state, patients were left stranded as medical residents joined indefinite strike action on Monday.
While many outpatients have been turned back through the main entrance and advised by security guards to return home, a few medical consultants have been seen caring for critically ill patients.
A mother of two who gave her last name as Katrina Obot said she had previously received an appointment from one of the striking doctors for surgery, but lamented that her condition could deteriorate. worsen if she does not receive immediate medical attention.
“I don’t know where to go now. I’m just stuck because one of the doctors gave me an appointment for surgery and I was hoping to have it today, but see what happened .
“I did not know the doctors would be on strike and my husband cannot afford the cost of private hospitals,” she lamented.
In the emergency room, some matrons seen there refused to admit new patients to the emergency room. One of them who spoke on condition of anonymity said more than half of the patients were released from the hospital and asked to go home.
UUTH Corporate Affairs Officer Mr. Ofon Ofon was not available to speak with our correspondent on the matter.
Likewise, a visit to Ilorin University Hospital (UITH) in Oke-Oyi revealed that some patients had been turned away.
Nurses were seen tending to patients in the various wards visited while many relatives of the patients were seen outside the building chatting.
A doctor who also spoke on the subject said that “only patients admitted before the strike have been taken care of.”
University PRO, Ms. Elizabeth Ajiboye, denied that the university has turned away patients, saying: “Although clinical services are affected, but we have our consultants on the ground to manage skeletal services.”
Yesterday, the medical department of ATBU-TH Bauchi was almost empty
Services crippled at ATBU-TH
In Bauchi, our correspondent reports that medical activities were anchored at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Hospital (ATBU-TH) with many patients complaining about the absence of doctors in various departments.
A hospital patient named Kabir said: “During the whole day, no doctor entered the ward to examine our condition. It is unfortunate because we only received information from nurses on the ward who told us that the doctors were on strike. there are only nurses who administer drugs banned by the doctors before the start of the strike. “
The father of an admitting patient, Abdullahi Tela, said they had gone all day without seeing a doctor, adding: today. “
Contacted, ATBUTH, president of the Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Saidu Abubakar Kadas said that the hospital management had taken emergency measures to fill the vacuum created by the strike.
All efforts to elicit a reaction from Bauchi State Branch President, Resident Doctors, have not been as successful as at the time of publication.
Strike affects isolation centers in Ibadan
As activities paralyzed University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan on Monday, our correspondent who toured the services including the intensive care unit (ICU) reports that the strike also affected all isolation centers State COVID-19.
Some patients, however, were left at the mercy of consultants who provided certain medical services, according to our findings.
State Resident Physicians President Dr Temitope Hussein said: “All UCH resident physicians have called an indefinite strike in accordance with the guidelines of the national body. And when such a strike occurs, the consultants who make up less than five percent of the total workforce take charge. So we called an indefinite strike. “
Low activities at Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja in Lagos
Patients admitted discharged to Enugu
At Enugu State University Hospital (ESUT-TH), Enugu, it was observed that patients complained and waited indefinitely for doctors, even after paying the doctors’ consultation fees.
Relatively healthy patients have been observed to come out in large numbers to return home.
However, very few consultants and in-house workers were seen dealing with the large number of patients admitted before Monday.
A patient, Ms Juliet Onyia, who came with her baby to the children’s ward, said she waited more than four hours after paying her consultation fees to see a doctor but without attention.
“They should not have collected the 500 N doctor’s consultation fee from me because they are not working,” she asked.
“We were caught off guard”
At the University of Port Harcourt University Hospital, UPTH, some patients said they were caught off guard by the strike, adding that no one looked after them when they visited the hospital on Monday.
Similar complaints were registered at the University Hospital of Calabar (UCTH).
Relative of a patient, Ms Justina Akpan, said she had not heard of the strike in advance and that no one had looked after her husband who was admitted to the ward last week orthopedics for men.
She said she may have to depend on nurses to dispense medication and dress her husband’s amputated leg.
Likewise, some patients in the outpatient section of Benue State University Hospital (BSUTH) in Makurdi said they had no prior information about the strike while other doctors were seen to render services, perhaps skeletal.
A patient, Jimbia, who was waiting to see a doctor, said she arrived at the hospital early in the morning and has yet to receive treatment, although no one has asked her to go home.
The president of NARD at BSUTH, Dr Ushakuma Anenga told our correspondent that the medical residents of the establishment have complied 100% with the strike following the directive of his national body.
The section of the Association of Resident Doctors of the University of Benin CHU also joined the strike, said the president of the UBTH section of NARD.
Although it was observed that consultants and other health workers were still caring for the patients, Ufuani Ifeanyi said they joined the strike and it was total.
In Owerri, while authorities at the Federal Medical Center in Owerri said the resident doctors’ strike had not substantially affected hospital services, the president of NARD at the State University Hospital of Imo, Dr Edward Chima, told our correspondent that residents and doctors at the hospital are 100 percent compliant.
In Ado Ekiti, however, the president, resident doctors, Dr. Olaoye Olaniyi, said the state section had started its local strike three years ago due to some demands that have yet to be met by the state government.
I am shocked that the medical residents have gone on strike – Ngige
Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige on Monday said he was shocked by the strike called by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) despite holding a “successful assessment meeting” with management union last week.
Ngige, who said this when speaking to reporters shortly after a meeting with the leadership of the Union of Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU), said the government was proactive enough to avoid action with some agreements. concluded at the meeting.
He also revealed that the government and ASUU have assessed the implementation of a Memorandum of Action (MOA) that the two sides have concluded in order to avoid labor disputes in universities.
According to him, the meeting assessed seven key issues “with both sides expressing satisfaction with the stages of implementing what he called ‘work in progress’, saying some of the elements of the MoU have been almost fully completed on time.
Contributors: Fidelis Mac-Leva, Ojoma Akor & Seun Adeuyi (Abuja), Iniabasi Umo (Uyo), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan), Tony Adibe (Enugu), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt), Eyo Charles (Calabar), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi), Nabob Ogbonna (Abakiliki), Jude Aguguo Owuamanam (Owerri)