The situation in public hospitals in Lagos State remained critical on Monday, two weeks after the sack of 788 doctors by the state government, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The situation has been worsened by the four-day-old sympathy strike called by doctors in Federal Government hospitals in the state.
At the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), NAN correspondents observed that though there were critically ill patients in some wards, only a few medical personnel were visible.
The mother of a 25-year-old motorcycle accident victim, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that her daughter was admitted into the surgical emergency ward of the hospital on April 14.
She said that since the strike began on April 24, her daughter had not been attended to by any doctor..
She said she paid N1,200 daily for the bed and had to make their own arrangements for food, while also paying N1,250 for each injection.
The woman said that she paid between N200 and N300 daily to dress the daughter's wound as the accident had affected her two legs and they were both put in casts.
``We want to take her out of here to a private hospital where doctors would attend to her but the nurses say that they can only remove the Plaster Of Paris (POP) after six weeks and it is not time yet.
``I do not want my daughter to die here as I have seen others die since my daughter has been admitted,’’ she said..
According to her, there were only two new doctors at the ward.
``Only two young doctors are available here but they do not see patients. They only walk up and down with their uniforms and stethoscopes every day.
``It is sad that such inexperienced people would be brought to the emergency ward.
``I just hope that the government and doctors resolve this problem soon. A lot of lives have been lost. The masses should not suffer for this. It is unfair," she said.
NAN also discovered that most of the other wards such as the medical emergency department, psychiatry, paediatrics and out-patient clinics had only a few patients seeking care.
At the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), though few consultants were available to take care of critically ill cases, no new patients were being admitted.
Nurses and other health officials were also seen attending to the few patients seeking medical care.
Dr Oluyemi Ogun, the Head of Clinical Services at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, said that few doctors were attending to patients who had emergency cases.
She said that the workload was heavy for the few doctors available but they had to attend to the patients.
``Every doctor is entitled to his or her opinion regarding rendering services to patients but I have never known this hospital to go on a full strike.
``We discharged some patients and if there was a need for a patient to get medical treatment that we could not give here, we referred them to other hospitals.
``Today I had to admit a patient who was showing signs of committing suicide. I wonder what would have happened if no doctor was available,'' she said.
At LUTH, only a few doctors were available to treat patients.
Few consultants were seen attending to some patients who had been admitted into the wards before the solidarity strike began.