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Resident doctors’ strike bites harder as hospitals discharge patients

Resident doctors’ strike bites harder as hospitals discharge patientsResident doctors’ strike bites harder as hospitals discharge patientsOnly critical patients left on admission; FG, NARD yet to meetBy Chioma ObinnaIt is hardly the ideal time for Nigerians seeking medical care, especially at the nation’s tertiary health facilities, as the National Association of Resident Doctors, or NARD, has crippled hospital services and abandoned patients to their fate due to its nationwide total and indefinite strike.

A visit to some of the hospitals revealed total compliance with the strike as only a few Consultants and House Officers were rendering skeletal services to patients with serious complaints.

However, new appointments were not given to patients as doctors were absent from their duty posts to do that.Although the Consultants who are senior doctors were attending to emergency cases, many patients were turned back, including patients that required surgery.

Our correspondent gathered that despite the recent announcement by the Federal Government’s of 25 percent salary increase, the striking doctors have remained adamant.

For the doctors, it is either the Federal government meets their stated demands or they are not returning to work.

Some were even quoted as saying that patients should go to the President for their medical treatment.

At the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, NOHIL; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, to other tertiary health institutions nationwide, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja the situation was the same.For instance, at both the LUTH and LASUTH on Monday, hospital services were disrupted following the strike.

Some of the patients who spoke to Good Health Weekly, lamented the effects of the strike.Some patients who were attended to but asked to return after the doctors resumed, gave kudos to the Consultants who attended to them, even as others that were turned back or left unattended, decried the high cost of transportation to and from the hospitals.Around 11:00 am when our correspondent visited LUTH, a few patients were seen in the waiting areas. Although there were skeletal services in some of the hospital clinics, a number of patients claimed they were told to go back home, as doctors were not on the ground to give out appointment dates.

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