Patients are most affected during doctors’ strike
Some patients in hospitals in Abuja lauded the suspension of the proposed indefinite nationwide strike by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, and called for dialogue to resolve the issues.
A patient at the National Hospital, Abuja, Nana Andrew, expressed happiness on the suspension of the strike, saying, “It’s usually the patients that suffer during strikes. Thank God, the strike was called off, with the way the country is now, people will be forced to rely on herbal medicine, if they keep striking. Many people cannot afford to go to private hospitals and herbal medicine is cheaper and it works for people.”
An out-patient at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Ijeoma Osita, said that the suspension would enable her continue with her ante-natal clinic.
“During the first warning strike, my ante-natal clinic date was affected and as a result, I had to spend a lot of money going to private hospitals. I am happy they suspended the strike in the interest of the public; it could be very discouraging when there is a strike.
An out-patient at the Maitama General Hospital, Funmi Owolabi, said that during the strike, she resorted to self-medication.
“I had to resort to self-medication whenever the doctors were on strike, because I could not afford to go to private hospitals. I usually go for treatment at any nearby chemist to receive medication, though; i know this is not the best. But, I could not afford a private hospital bill, we are begging government to listen to them so there is no strike again.”
The NMA on Sunday announced the suspension of its earlier directive to its members to withdraw their services indefinitely from Monday.
The President of the association, Oshaon Enabulele, said the strike was suspended to allow for full implementation of all the agreement between the association and the government.
Some of the agreement includes the decision by the Federal Government to redress the gross injustice done to doctors and the establishment of a Hospital Development and Intervention Fund for health infrastructure upgrade.
Others are the appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation and the expansion of Universal Health Coverage.