Patients groan as resident doctors’ strike limits medical services at Bayelsa hospital

Doctors performing surgery on a patient
Doctors performing surgery on a patient

The FMC Yenagoa doctors are protesting deductions in their salaries.

The strike action by some doctors has affected access to treatment by many patients at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The doctors, under the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, commenced a three-day warning strike on Monday.

When PREMIUM TIMES visited the hospital on Monday, hundreds of were seen waiting to be treated by consultants who are not members of NARD and are not participating in the strike.

Nurses who spoke on the strike said that the senior doctors were working and rendering services to the patients both in the wards and out patients departments. They, however, said the strike was affecting health treatment as the NARD members constituted a higher proportion of doctors at the hospital.
A patient, James Dieke, said that the withdrawal of services by the doctors had prolonged the waiting time for patients.

He said he waited for over four hours and was yet to see a doctor.

“The resident doctors and some others in their cadre downed tools and we now have fewer doctors to see patients. That explains the long wait we are witnessing,” he said. “It is the patients who are at the receiving end of this strike and we hope that the issues they have with the management is resolved immediately.”

Another patient, Josephine Doubra, said that she would seek medical care for her baby in a private hospital.

The Bayelsa chairman of the NARD said that the doctors embarked on the strike to protest “inappropriate deductions” from the salaries of members.

Mr. Asinobi said that the deductions affected mostly resident doctors and youth corps members.

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He said the strike was a three-day warning strike to compel the authorities at the federal ministry of health to suspend the deductions.

He said the strike followed due process as spelt out in the labour laws as the mandatory notices were served on relevant authorities.

 

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