Patients groan as doctors’ strike paralyses activities in Abuja hospitals
Patients at Abuja hospitals have lamented that the strike action embarked on by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), is affecting them.
Some hospital departments visited by The Guardian offered no services while others rendered skeletal services.
Resident doctors in Nigerian public hospitals started a nationwide strike on Monday, August 2, for several reasons including delays in the payment of their salaries and allowances.
The strike coincided with a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, leaving many worried that it could have serious consequences for the battle against the third wave of the pandemic.
Last year alone, the medical practitioners were on strike at three different times over the course of the year despite an increase of patients during the early period of COVID-19, over demands of unpaid allowances for treating COVID-19 patients, and increment in basic salary.
At the National hospital, Wuse District Hospital and Kubwa general hospital visited by The Guardian, patients complained there were no doctors to attend to them.
It was observed that only pregnant women were attended to at the Wuse District Hospital as the Accident & Emergency ward was empty.
At the Kubwa General Hospital, many relatives of patients and even some nurses were seen in groups lamenting the situation brought forth by the Resident Doctors.
Though, the Guardian observed that unlike what was obtained at the Wuse District Hospital, patients were been attended to by Nurses at the Accident & Emergency wards in Kubwa General Hospital.
When The Guardian visited the National Hospital Abuja around midday, activities were on the low-key, and several few patients were seen around the pharmacy, Accident & Emergency and medical wards were attended to by nurses.
An unnamed staff who does not want his name mentioned, noted that resident doctors on strike still come around the hospital to check patients on emergency cases.
At the Accident & Emergency wards, One of the patients who was referred from Benue State identified himself as Mr Gabriel Egede confirmed that no doctor had turned up.
Egede urged the federal government to address misunderstand with NARD for the interest of Nigerians.
According to him, “I referred always from Benue State to national hospital Abuja for medical treatment getting here now the doctors are on strike, because of the inability of the federal government to address issues with them. My life is at stake as the nurses on duty just refer me to one of private hospitals which am waiting for the medical doctor”.”
It was also gathered that despite the Federal Government campaign against COVID-19, the hospital is louse to covid-19 protocol.
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