Following the suspension of the strike action which lasted two months, doctors under the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday resumed at their duty posts in hospitals across the country.
Our correspondents report that at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), in Shika, Zaria, doctors were on the ground attending to patients even though the patient turnout was not high.
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One of the resident doctors who spoke with our correspondent assured that more patients will turn up as the day goes by and as news of the strike suspension spreads.
“This is the first day, by tomorrow or next, I’m sure there will be many people coming for their clinic days and there will also be a lot of referrals from other hospitals,” she said.
The situation was similar at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), where the number of patients was low. A medical staff who spoke on the issue told our correspondent that there were referrals of patients from other hospitals.
“Here at UITH, the resumption from the side of the doctors is 100 per cent but the patient traffic is low. It is however increasing.
“For instance, we have only eight patients at the emergency ward, which has a capacity for about 32 patients. However, the number is increasing and we have had referrals from the General Hospital, Ilorin and Medical Centre at Ogbomoso,” he said.
However, the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) in Plateau State was overcrowded as news of the strike suspension spread.
Many patients who had been waiting for the doctors to suspend the strike were attended to yesterday at the hospital.
Innocent Emmanuel, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), confirmed to our correspondent that all resident doctors had resumed duty.
Similarly, resident doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Bida, Niger State, have resumed work.
The Chairman of NARD in the hospital, Dr Alfa Yusuf, confirmed to Daily Trust via telephone that his members had resumed following the call-off of the strike by the national body.
Daily Trust correspondent, who visited the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and Bayelsa Specialist Hospital all in Yenagoa as well as the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri, saw doctors attending to patients.
At the Federal Medical Centre, patients expressed happiness over the return of doctors to the hospital, saying that during the period of the strike, most Nigerians were in danger, while others spent a reasonable amount of money at the private hospital.
Chairman of NARD at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, Dr Divine Irole, said, “The compliance is 100%, even if our demands are not met, the reason why we are complying with the suspension of the strike is because of the plea by the general public because Nigerians cannot afford health care in private hospitals.”
The situation was the same at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, where doctors attended to patients at every section of the hospital.
In Ogun State, the Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi – Aba in Abeokuta, Prof Adewale Musa-Olomu, monitored the resumption of doctors.
Doctors also resumed at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi (ATBU-TH), University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Owerri
Doctors protest ill-treatment in LUTH
But, resident doctors in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) yesterday lamented ill-treatment despite resuming work.
The ARD President in LUTH, Dr Olufemi Hassan, said doctors resumed in the hope that LUTH management would address all welfare issues facing them.
“LUTH is the only hospital in Nigeria where resident doctors don’t have call foods and sleep in their cars during calls due to the poor condition of the call room.
“We hope they won’t take it for granted. We wrote to LUTH management during the NARD’s strike to use the opportunity to address local challenges facing residents before we resumed.
“If they have positive dispositions to our request there won’t be any strike,” he said.
From Mumini AbdulKareem (Ilorin), Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos), Abdulkadir Shehu (Kaduna), Abubakar Akote (Minna), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Jude Aguguo Owuamanam (Owerri), Bassey Willie (Yenagoa), Risikat Ramoni (Lagos), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi) & Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt)