The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, Kwara State, on Friday, began a five-day strike to protest the assault of medical personnel in the hospital.
The President of ARD-UITH, Dr Mubaraq Ijaiya, said the strike was total, noting that the doctors demanded the presence of armed security personnel at all emergency points within the hospital for their safety.
The strike followed an attack on a doctor at the hospital who was beaten by relatives of a deceased patient who they alleged died due to the nonchalant attitude of medical staff.
Dr Ijaiya said, “This is one of several episodes of physical assault on our members this year, with no culprit prosecuted to a logical conclusion and several other assaults that have occurred on healthcare workers in the last few months within the hospital.”
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Speaking on the Wednesday incident, Mubaraq said the patient was a known individual in the facility being managed for a terminal illness.
He explained that: “He was rushed to the emergency unit of the hospital on December 27, at about 7am. He was promptly attended to and admitted for emergency management by the medical team on emergency duty.
“The necessary management plan was prescribed, including some required investigations, and his primary managing team was notified through a written consult and phone call.”
Ijaiya said contrary to information making rounds, the patient was alive and was just stabilised by the same doctor when the relatives assaulted him.
He added that: “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the managing team, the patient passed away in the early hours of Thursday.”
While he commiserated with the family of the deceased, he called for more advocacy against the assault on healthcare workers.
Mrs Elizabeth Ajiboye, Head of Corporate Affairs of UITH, said such incidents had led to injuries to healthcare givers, noting that the hospital’s management would no longer tolerate any of such harassment.
She said the management has reviewed the matter and released the corpse to the relatives for burial, but noted that: “However, further investigations and possible prosecution of the arrested persons linked with the doctor’s assault continues.”
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that the corpse of Alhaji Saliu which was earlier held by the hospital was released at about 5pm on Thursday to the relatives.
Speaking on the incident, a relative of the deceased, Mr Bayo, said the family as Muslims had accepted what Allah decreed.
Reacting on the issue, the Kwara State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Ola Ahmed, said, “It is quite unfortunate that the people we are trying to serve, with God using us to save their lives, are the ones giving us a lot of discomforts.
“We all know how the issue of brain drain is taking a lot of doctors away now and there is no way one will get to the hospital and expect instant attention. If there are three cases on the ground, one has to take priority and the doctor will not split himself into parts to attend to different people at the same time. He has to stabilise one before moving to another.
“Insisting that your patient must be attended to cannot work, especially in emergency cases, because it is not like the regular clinic of first come first serve. It depends on the severity of the case and you conduct triaging to see which has more pressing needs. So, the media have to help us to educate the community to assist us.”