Resident doctors strike: Patients, relatives lament as industrial action takes toll on hospitals nationwide

The strike embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is taking its toll on the operations of hospitals and medical centres across the nation. 

Across various hospitals in Ondo, Umuahia, Lagos, Ibadan, Bauchi, Akure, Ilorin, Ado-Ekiti, Sokoto, it is a story of lamentation, pain, agony by patients who are bearing the brunt of the industrial action. 

While some members of management of some hospitals have taken to rendering appeals over the strike, the striking doctors have also insisted they would not succumb to threats until the government meets their demands. 

Some patients and some relatives, who are still on admission, lamented that the strike had negatively affected them decrying that no doctors were attending to them leaving some nurses on duty to attend to their medical needs. 

Some of the patients were officially discharged as a result of the development, to either go home or go to other hospitals where they will get medical attention while others discharged themselves to get the required treatment elsewhere.

President of NARD at the ATBUTH branch, Dr. Nur Algazali, said that although the strike was regrettable, it was necessary, saying that over 150 resident doctors at the ATBU Teaching Hospital had joined the indefinite strike.

Meanwhile, the NARD has said the only option to calling off its indefinite strike action is for the Federal Government to honour the Memorandum of Action it entered into with the association.

While the strike is taking its toll on activities in hospitals, management of hospitals have bemoaned that medical activities had been adversely affected. 

In an interview with the medical director, FMC, Umuahia, Professor Onyebuchi Azubuike, he emphasised that resident doctors were the main set of doctors that could manage a hospital in terms of being around”. 

Speaking through the ATBUTH chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr. Saidu Abubakar Kadas, the management said that all the consultants and others who were not members of NARD had been adequately mobilised to fill in the vacuum created by the strike action. 

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it was actively involved in ensuring that the removal of House Officers and NYSC doctors from the scheme of service does not lead to a crisis in the Lagos State health sector. 

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