Strike: Patients groan as doctors boycott Ondo hospitals
Following the indefinite strike by resident doctors at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure, Ondo State, the patients at the hospital have appealed to the government to accede to the demands of the angry doctors for the sake of their health.
The doctors, under the auspices of the Residents Doctors of the UNIMEDTH, on Friday, began the strike in protest against non-payment of their six months’ salaries by the state government.
The Chairman, Media Committee of the Residents Doctors of UNIMEDTH, Dr Olagbe Taiwo, had vowed that the strike would not end until the government met all their demands which bordered on the welfare of the doctors.
He said over 150 doctors were affected.
During a visit to the hospital complex in Akure, on Saturday, it was observed that none of the doctors was on duty while some patients were lamenting their absence.
It was also observed that only consultants and nurses were on duty to attend to hundreds of patients on admission and outpatients.
A relative of a patient on admission at the emergency ward of the hospital, who identified herself only as Oluwole, lamented that the strike of the doctors was already having effect on the patients as there were no doctors to attend to the patients.
She said, “We have only consultants working but they are few and cannot attend to the patients that are here. Some patients at the emergency ward, for example, need frequent attention of the doctors but few of the consultants seldom come. We appeal to the state government to answer the doctors before the situation gets worse.”
An outpatient, who gave his name only as Oluchukwu, said it was unfortunate for the government to owe doctors such amount of salary.
He said he went to the hospital to see one of the resident doctors but could not see him due to the strike.
A consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that they came to the hospital to rescue the situation.
He also confirmed that the number of the consultants available could not attend to all the patients.
He appealed to the government and the striking doctors to have dialogue and resolve the matter so that the doctors would return to work.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, said the aggrieved doctors had not held the state to ransom due to the strike.
He, however, said efforts were ongoing to resolve the crisis.