Doctors’ Strike: Abuja hospitals deserted

It has been four days since the doctors went on a strike to demand better welfare.

Four days into the indefinite nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, hospitals in Abuja have been virtually deserted.

The NMA President, Kayode Obembe, had on Monday directed its members to embark on a strike starting from July 1, due to government’s failure to meet its demands.

A correspondent who visited the National Hospital, Abuja on Friday observed that only few patients were seen on admission in the male surgical ward.

The spokesperson of the hospital, Tayo Haastrup, said that the hospital discharged many patients since the strike started, except for a few of them who were critically ill and could not be discharged.

“It would be unfair for us to discharge them, they are in a bad condition, but the hospital’s management is doing all it can to ensure that these patients are taken care of,” he said. “We hope that this strike is called off soonest so that patients do not suffer anymore.”

Bomb victims

Mr. Haastrup said that one of the victims of the Wuse 2 bomb blast is still on admission in the male surgical ward.

He said that three out of the 10 bodies in the mortuary, had been claimed by family members of the deceased and seven bodies were yet to be identified.

“We have seven bodies left to be identified by family members and about three bodies are badly burnt beyond recognition,” he said. “Since we do not have any means to identify those three through DNA in the country, we will find a way to dispose the bodies.’’

An outpatient, Faith Nwanfor, said, “I had an appointment in the hospital today, but I could only collect my test result, no doctor to see me, now I do not know what to do.

“I pray the government and the doctors reach an agreement so that this strike can end, we the patients are really suffering, especially the poor people who cannot afford private hospitals.’’

Checks at the Maitama Hospital in Abuja showed that the hospital was deserted as only the nurses, lab scientists, pharmacists and security guards were at work.

The NMA demands include a 24-point request for the appointment of four deputy chairmen, Medical Advisory Committee for Teaching Hospitals and establishment of three Federal Medical Centres in the country.

Others are the appointment of only medical doctors as Chief Medical Directors, relativity in the health sector, skipping of Grade Level 12 for medical and dental practitioners and reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform.

It also demanded for increase in hazard and specialist allowances, budget for residency training, speedy passage of the health bill, appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation and universal
health coverage, among others.



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  • Screw-em

    I don’t know of any civilized nation where Doctors go on strike. First responders have in their collective bargaining agreement, a clause where this is clearly stated, and signed by all parties never to embark on a strike. This also applies to the Police, Armed Forces and other important parastatals. You continue to work until an appreciable agreement is arrived at by all parties.I guess 9ja is a different kettle.

    • Dan

      I have also not heard of any civilised nation where doctors are treated they way it is done in Nigeria.

  • John green

    I believe this is the end to the reign of the incumbent man and we know that intil we find a proper man who can replace the foolishness in the present man we have now and move the nation forward by fire by force not the one playing politics with the lives of all the citizen. Patients are sitting/lying donw on the sicj bed but the incumbent doesn’t seems to understand the situation and find a lasting solution to all the problems that has befell the nation. No water, no light, no good road and lastly, the health of the nation are been played. They enjoy the health insurance abroad and never give a damn about the common man. We just need a change

  • BlackieUmukoro

    Treasonable demands that are boko haramic in nature. NMA have run out of ideals of what to go on strike for. So so unfortunate

    • Dan

      Whatsoever you call their demands doesn’t really matter. NMA has just rediscovered her ideals. It is not going to be business as usual for the government and JOHESU.

      • BlackieUmukoro

        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  • redeem

    criminals that is what they are–in a country that is at war? Doctors going on strike? Fire them–they are all agents of APC–government shold not even talk to them-hire doctors from Ghana and europe–latin america-very unpatriotic to say the least–if the armed forces had enough doctors this would not have happened

    • Dan

      Go ahead and fire them and see who will suffer. Go to Ghana, Europe and Latin America and hire doctors, then see if the will stay if treated the ways Nigerian doctors are currently being treated.

  • F Ajayi

    I am a doctor in a civilised nation (UK). I worked before in Nigeria (Akure & Bauchi). In Nigeria, doctors were treated as civil servants but condemned when treated NOT as civil servants. “Wicked, heartless” were some of their tags. In the UK, no doctor ever needs to struggle. Salary is increased EVERY YEAR in line with inflation, equipment is serviced, doctors are accorded due dignity hey respond with dedication and hardwork. The Government respects the BMA and respects their views on major policies. We don’t have an Idiagbon ordering doctors to vacate their quarters at a moments’ notice. We don’t have a Fashola trying to force doctors into submission. We still have bad eggs – research fraud, etc, but generally we practie with dignity.
    I broke a strike once in Akure because I could not bear to see women die. I now leave the British NHS to speak directly to Nigerians and answer questions, refer you, advise you, etc. Meet me on

    men & women but especially gynaecological problems.
    But all of you can’t! So we need government to dialogue. Stand offs will only hurt the poor. The rich will fly to Paris, Germany & Harley Street. Or Dubai. Or India.
    We cannot or must not blackmail doctors into starvation. If they earn a lot, it is because they work a lot. At least they work. Unlike thieves in political offices who command billions.