Some patients affected by the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the resident doctors across the country have appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the doctors’ demands amicably to save their lives.
They spoke in separate interviews on Wednesday in Lagos on the ongoing nationwide strike by the doctors.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had on Sept. 4 directed its members nationwide to embark on an indefinite strike to pressurise government to meet its demands.
The strike notice was signed by Dr John Onyebueze and Dr Aneke Emmanuel, the National President and Secretary, National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) respectively.
In the affected hospitals, few patients turned up for consultation and routine clinics in view of the strike.
One of the patients at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Mrs Faith Ehijie, who brought her son for routine clinic, said that government should look into their demands in the interest of the poor patients.
While expressing disappointment with the doctors’ action, Ehijie said: “By now, the nation should have gone over the issue of strikes in our health institutions.
“Government should make the doctors’ welfare a priority to avoid these frequent strikes; we all know their importance to the society.
“The clinic routine is not as usual today, because some of the doctors are on strike and this make the process to be slow and caused the delay.
Another patient at the hospital, Mr Adeoti Oki, commended the hospital management and other doctors on ground for their abilities to manage the patients in spite of the resident doctor’s strike.
“We don’t even expect to get this attention, though, it is a bit slow, as you can see, we are still being attended to accordingly.
“We still want the government to please resolve the issues with the doctors that are on strike so that the service can get better,” he said.
Also, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, there was low turnout of patients, as fewer patients were seen at the major department and clinics.
The Accident and Emergency Unit, which was always busy on normal day, was scanty as well as other units including the Gynaecology and Paediatric Units.
At Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, two patients interviewed said that they had an appointment with their physicians and that they were waiting to see them.
A patient, Mr Badaru Ahmed, said that he was waiting for his turn as a doctor was attending to the patients in the waiting room.
“I am the next in line to see the doctor; a patient is seeing him now and when he is done, I am next, “ he said.
Another patient, Mrs Fatima Ali, who claimed she was not aware of the doctors’ strike, said that she had come for checkup and to also see her physician.
According to her, I have been seen the doctors moving around in their robes and some attending to us.
“I don’t know that there is an ongoing strike in LASUTH, “ she said.
When contacted, the LASUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adewale Oke, said that the hospital was working and patients were being attended to.
“We are working and attending to the patients on ground,“ he said.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that skeletal activities were recorded in the affected hospitals in Lagos.
At LASUTH, Ikeja, though, activities were ongoing in spite of the strike, it was not as usual when the doctors were on duty.
A visit to the hospital showed that patients were being attended to by few consultants and the house officers on ground.
Also, other health workers including nurses, laboratory scientists, health information management officers were seen going about their normal duties.