Strike: Pa­tients groan as doc­tors boy­cott Ondo hospi­tals

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Peter dada

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.

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