Resident Doctors’ Strike: How major Nigerian hospitals fared

University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, recently carried out successful open heart surgeries.
University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, recently carried out successful open heart surgeries.

Despite the directive from the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, to its members to embark on a total strike, skeletal operations by some doctors were still observed at various health institutions across the country.

PREMIUM TIMES reporters visited some health institutions across the country and noticed minimal activities going on in some of them as patients were seen in the wards with some resident doctors attending to them.

The resident doctors across the country began an indefinite strike to compel the government to honour past agreements hinging on staff welfare, payment of arrears since 2013 and deteriorating health facilities across government hospitals.

Resident doctors are post-graduate doctors on training at secondary and tertiary health institutions in Nigeria especially teaching hospitals and are also under the employment of the federal government during their residency.

When PREMIUM TIMES visited UCH, Ibadan, it was observed that skeletal work was being done by some of the resident doctors as patients were still being admitted with some medical staff going about their clinical duties.

The hospital environment was however calm and quiet, a contrast to how it usually is on a daily basis.
A nurse at the imaging unit who pleaded anonymity said some of the resident doctors have been attending to patients as they “have no choice because their consultants have mandated them to come to the hospital.”

“They cannot join their colleagues in the strike, most of them are been called back by their consultants and they cannot refuse them,” she said.

At the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, on Tuesday, PREMIUM TIMES observed that activities at the hospital have been crippled by the strike.

The reporter noticed that the ever busy General Out-Patient Department, GOPD was empty due to the industrial action. However, the medical ward and accident and emergency units were offering minimal services.

A 70-year-old patient, Munkaila Shuaibu, said he was discharged on Tuesday after being admitted a few days ago.

“I was admitted on Sallah day. After spending a night at the emergency department, I was transferred to the male medical ward where I spent four days. The doctor said my health condition is stable. That is why he is discharging me,” he said.

Another patient on admission at the male medical ward, Muhammad Ahmad said he is still receiving treatment despite the strike.

“Doctors have come this morning for routine ward round. They have checked those on admission. Nobody told me I will be discharged,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES also visited the National Hospital and Wuse General Hospital, both in Abuja, where it found some of the resident doctors still working.

Though their activities were skeletal, some of the residents available were seen attending to patients.
Some of the resident doctors on duty who pleaded anonymity said though the strike is on, they are only treating people out of sympathy.

”As you can see, this a large hospital and there are so many patients to attend to. We can’t just leave them stranded. All we are asking is for the federal government to meet our demands. Once this done, all activities go back to normal.

”We are however working undercover now because NARD must not know that some of us are still working. We are not working under the management’s order, it is a self-decision. We are just doing some skeletal work in here,” a resident doctor said.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole had earlier directed the heads of federal government hospitals to ensure that all other doctors in various strata are deployed to fill the vacuum.

This was to ensure that the patients get medical attention and are not turned back as resident doctors are known to attend to the bulk of the patients in government hospitals.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, Aminu Inuwa said the management of the hospital has directed all heads of departments to deploy consultants to fill the vacuum left by resident doctors.

“The few doctors available will attend to those with complicated cases. Those with stable health conditions will be discharged or referred to another hospital.,” he added.

Mr Inuwa said that the consultants will “continue managing the situation, but if the strike goes beyond a week, the patients will be referred to other private hospitals.”

Speaking on the strike in Ibadan on Tuesday, NARD chairman, UCH, Ibadan chapter, Segun Olaopa, said the resident doctors will not be going back to work until the government honours its part of the MoU it had with the association in 2013.

Mr Olaopa said the main concern of the resident doctors was the payment of their salaries and arrears and stoppage of further deductions from their salaries.

“It is very legal for us to go on strike as they cannot be paying us half our salaries since 2014 and expect us not to demand it. The country is currently undergoing harsh economic crisis and it is affecting us too psychologically. How do you expect a psychological imbalanced doctor to treat patients especially in an unconducive environment?

“We have stipulated what we want the government to do for us. Everything is not monetary, so we see no reason why they can’t honour it. They should stop playing jokes and resorting to using the patients and public to blackmail us,” he said.

Mr. Olaopa said the association is willing to meet with the government to discuss a way forward out of the quagmire.

A meeting between the NARD executives and the health and labour ministries has been fixed for Wednesday.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:DIABETES Is CURABLE! Don't Let It Threaten You! To NORMALIZE Your Blood Sugar In 21Days For Life, Click Here!!!.


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • okonkodem2

    DEAR EDITOR,

    Why the Buhari government is failing and fumbling

    “Let me say straight away that whether one calls it a cabal or a mafia
    or power within the presidency under Buhari, whatever you say it is; it is, and
    a lot worse. First, the most influential person in the presidency today is one
    Mamman Daura whom as you know, is a nephew of the president. His father
    was Buhari’s elder brother. In addition, Mamman Daura was the one who
    single-handedly brought up Abba Kyari, the current chief of staff to the
    president.

    In fact, Abba Kyari knows Mamman Daura more than he knows his own
    father. Next, the personal assistant to Buhari himself is the son of Mamman
    Daura, next is the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), and is also a son-in-law
    to Mamman Daura because he is married to Mamman Daura’s daughter.

    Next, the minister they unilaterally chose, against the interest of the
    party and against the wishes of Sokoto people, happens to be the daughter of
    the younger sister of Mamman Daura’s wife. Both of them are daughters of Sultan
    Dasuki, who was sacked by General Abacha. We have the aide-de-camp to Buhari
    himself, Colonel Abubakar. He is married to the granddaughter of one of Buhari’s
    elder sisters”.

    …………..Dr. Junaid Muhammed

    (KANO, July 23rd, 2016)

    • okonkodem2

      ……….(2) Why the Buhari government is failing and fumbling

      “Next we have the woman who represents Kaduna in the Federal Executive
      Council, she is a cousin to Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai. It is a well
      known that el-Rufai is one of the closest governors to Muhammadu Buhari. Next,
      we have the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

      The
      Minister of the FCT is the man called Musa Bello, who used to be the Managing
      Director of the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation, which used to be the
      biggest holding company that belonged to all the northern states. His only
      qualification to be the FCT minister is the fact that his father has been
      Buhari’s friend over the years.

      Now, there is a young man called Sabiu Yusuf,
      nicknamed Tunde – probably because of the late General Tunde Idiagbon. He is
      another PA to President Buhari. He is also a grandson of another sister of Buhari
      This is enough to prove to you that this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism
      in the history of government in Nigeria.”

      …………..Dr. Junaid Muhammed

      (KANO, July 23rd, 2016)

    • Pointblankers

      MUHAMADU BUHARI LOOKS MORE LIKE A HATE SPEECH THAT SHOULD NOT BE DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC.

      NAIVE NIGERIANS ENABLED HIM TO CONSIDER THE PRESIDENCY HIS PERSONAL AND FAMILY RIGHT.

  • Keen Observer

    Buhari will eventually turn up to be the WORST ILLITERATE PRESIDENT Nigeria has ever produced as a mother of circumstances. The political system in Nigeria will not allow young & intelligent brains to saddle the helm of affairs in Nigeria but will always feature these die-hard old prosperous/rich illiterate to carry Nigerians on a Trial & Error governance.
    We had an academic Dr in the person of GEJ thinking he’ll share his wealth of academic knowledge but NOTHING Tangible came out of him. Now is a STACK ILLITERATE governing Great & Intelligent Nigerians. Where are the Young & Intelligent Nigerians who are making names across the world?