Resident Doctors Strike: Impact, Yet To Be Felt- LEADERSHIP Checks

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Doctor woman examine patient male with chickenpox isolatedon white background

BY DOYIN OJOSIPE, Abuja 

It’s been four days since Nigerian Resident Doctors embarked on a total indefinite strike. LEADERSHIP checks at the Abuja Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Gwagwalada and the National Hospital Abuja confirmed that the Doctors have actually left their duty post. An official at the National hospital who took our Correspondent round the hospital  said the impact of the doctors presence will only be felt if the period of the action is prolonged.

“No patient has been discharged yet, doctors on housemanship, Nurses and the Consultants are working, though patients are still turning in for treatment, they have reduced in number,” he said.

Inside the GOPD, GGOPD, Emergency, Neurology and Immunisation sections, patients were seen seated and waiting to be called.

However, the entrance and the environs of the hospital had an uneasy calm, when our correspondent visited, it was around 11 am and cars were not trooping in as usual, only few people at the surrounding.

This is an indication that the Resident doctors form a great percentage of the doctors working force at the tertiary hospitals.

The impact of the absence of Residents Doctors at federal government tertiary hospitals is just a matter of time

Speaking with the official who pleaded Anonymous,  he said although treatment of sick patients have not stopped,  people have not turned in, in their usual numbers possibly because they are aware of the strike.

However, full activities is still ongoing at the Maitama General Hospital where patients trooped in and out. One of the doctors told Leadership that “Resident Doctors working at the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) hospitals are yet to join in the strike bandwagon until they receive further directive to do so.”

The family section, maternity ward and emergency ward were all alive with doctors, nurses and attendants moving in and out.

The hospital’s Medical Director was however not on seat to speak with our correspondent.

The immediate past Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Dr Peter Alabi in an  interview said that “Obviously if you are two sharing responsibility and the other half is not there, you obviously will have to work extra hard to get to the desired effect, so the people who are on ground will have to work much harder to do what ordinarily, you are not suppose to do in terms of responsibility.

Strike actions have always had devastating effects on patients especially when prolonged.  Cases of unavoidable deaths have been it’s reward.

Wading into the crisis, the federal government had on Wednesday  had a closed door meeting with the doctors.

The meeting which lasted till the early hours of Thursday however yielded no result as the doctors were bent on having their demands met.

After so much deliberation with Some government officials which included  the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole; President, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Prof. Mike Ogirima; NARD President, Dr. Onyebueze John, the doctors disclosed that the strike will either remain or called after its NEW meeting which commenced in the late hours of Friday, September 8 , 2017.