There are fears the poor health indices recorded by the country and the spread of COVID-19 may get worse as the ongoing strike by resident doctors paralysed activities in 98 per cent of government hospitals nationwide.
When The Guardian reporters visited federal government-owned hospitals and health institutions across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, patients and their relatives were seen groaning in despair. Most of the hospitals had started discharging patients while others had stopped admitting new ones.
Resident doctors in most of the hospitals visited complied fully with the strike directive from their parent body. Only medical consultants and nurses were seen offering skeletal services.
The implication is that since resident doctors offer more than 50 per cent of medical services in federal government-owned hospitals and health institutions, patients with critical conditions are more likely to be affected if the strike continued.
Also, despite attempts by the Federal Government and other stakeholders to persuade resident doctors under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to call off their one-day industrial action, reasons have emerged why the leadership of the association is not likely to.
President, NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told The Guardian late evening yesterday: “As we speak, we just finished a very long meeting with representatives of Federal Government. We signed agreements on how to address the issues. They have made assurances and given deadlines on when to meet our demands. But nothing is concrete yet. Our demands have not been met.“We are taking their promises to our congress, for our members to decide. The meeting is likely to end before 8.30 pm on Thursday. From the feelers on the ground, it is unlikely that the congress will approve suggestions to call off the strike. I can tell you, it is unlikely that we will call off the strike. But nothing is impossible. (Guardian)