As the strike action by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) enters the second week, patients in federal health institutions have continue to lament their situations.
When our correspondent visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), yesterday, there was queue of patients at every unit in the hospital, especially at the pharmacy post. Some of the patients who spoke with LEADERSHIP said doctors are attending to patients, but it is at a very slow pace when compared with what it used to be.
Mr Adebayo Dele, a 40 year old diabetes patient said yesterday was his appointment to see the doctor, but unlike other day , he has been in the waiting room for five hours trying to see his doctor.
Dele said, “It is so unfortunate that my appointment had to be today. I came very early to see my doctor at LUTH, only for me to see a long queue of patients trying to see him. When I asked why the long queue, I was told that other health workers except doctors are on strike.
“I came here 10:00am and this is 3 o’clock and I am yet to see a doctor. I think I will have to go home and then come back tomorrow very early in the morning so that I can leave on time.”
Another patient who want to be anonymous said she regretted coming to LUTH because she wasted all her time, without achieving the reason she came to the hospital.
She said, “Though my case isn’t an emergency case, but I would need a qualified laboratory scientist to diagnose me of what brought me to LUTH this morning. My prayer is that my case should not get worse before they call-off the strike.”
LEADERSHIP also visited the emergency unit and found out that though doctors are attending to patients there are still many patients to be attended to due to limited manpower.
The public relations officer, LUTH, Kelechi Oduneme, while speaking exclusively with LEADERSHIP said, “We are attending to patients, the doctors are on ground, you know doctors are not involved, yet we still need the efforts of other health workers for smooth operation.
“The management of LUTH has decided to work with the available manpower along with qualified medical volunteers. There are many patients still on the ward and we are managing to care for them with the limited staff we have. We are also managing emergency cases and out-patients with the limited staff.
“The management of LUTH however regret any inconveniences the strike action would have on our patients, both in-patients and out-patients and we hope that this issue would be resolved between the Ministry of Health and JOHESU as soon as possible, so that Nigerians can once more enjoy quality healthcare services from all health professionals.”
The national chairman, JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent said since Wednesday, the strike has been on in all the federal health institutions nationwide.
Josiah said that they embarked on the strike because the government has failed to fulfill the agreement both parties signed since 30th of September, 2017, an agreement that would have been fulfilled five weeks after the day they signed the agreement.
He said, “It is six months as at today and government did not see the reason to fulfill its own bargain. We also gave government 21 day ultimatum as at February this year, and they did not also seize that opportunity to do the needful so as to avert the strike action.
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