Nigeria: Patients Affected as Doctors’ Strike Persists

Many patients in Nigeria have continued to experience skeletal medical services in public hospitals due to the ongoing National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) strike.

Development Diaries reports that resident doctors embarked on indefinite strike action on 26 July over the failure of the Nigerian government to meet their demands.

A report by Punch shows that many patients in various public hospitals have been discharged to seek health care in other health facilities as the strike lingers.

It is understood that at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, patients who came for medical treatment were left unattended as none of the resident doctors were present in the wards of the hospital at about 11:00 am.

Reports also reveal that there was increased waiting time for patients at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

In Abuja, it was gathered that many patients were waiting to be attended to at the Asokoro district hospital as families were asked to vacate the premises as instructed by the management because there are no doctors to attend to them.

The majority of the medical staff in Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals are resident doctors, therefore when they go on strike, health activities are generally severely hindered.

Resident doctors in the country have been lamenting mistreatment from the Nigerian government for a long while now, but it appears their demands have fallen on deaf ears.

The response of the Bola Tinubu-led government has not even helped the situation as the Ministry of Health recently directed the chief medical directors and medical directors in the federal tertiary hospitals to implement the no-work-no-pay policy on the striking members of NARD.

The demands of the doctors have not changed. They are demanding the immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement of exited clinical staff in the various hospitals.

The doctors are also demanding the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund, the commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to their members including the 2014, 2015, and 2016 salary arrears.

They are further demanding hazard allowance arrears as well as arrears of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.

Addressing the cause of the ongoing strike is a better option than threatening the few doctors left in the country because the strike is affecting the average Nigerian trying to seek medical care in public hospitals.

Development Diaries calls on the federal government to take urgent action to prevent a worsening situation of medical service delivery in the country.

Photo source: Uniuyo Eyes


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