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Doctors’ Strike Paralyses Hospitals Nationwide

Pregnant women, children, the aged and patients seeking care in public hospitals are bearing the brunt of the three-day warning strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD.

The strike was called yesterday to press for payment of outstanding salaries and allowances, and training opportunities for its members, among other demands.

In Lagos, the strike took most patients unawares as they arrived early to keep appointments at various clinics, as only skeletal services were available.

Activities at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba; Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba; National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi were severely hampered as most of the outpatient clinics, though open, were almost deserted as little or no activity was going on.

The Ante-Natal Clinic and Children Out Patient Department were also bereft of activity as there were no doctors attending to patients.

A woman, who simply identified herself as Joyce, said she, her aunt and baby were at the hospital as early as 7a.m. only to be told that doctors were on strike.

She said: “My aunt has been inside with them. The consultant has only attended to few patients on appointment. Others were asked to go back home.”

At the Ear, Nose and Throat, ENT, department, few patients on appointment were seen being attended to by a consultant.

Several pregnant women waiting at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department of LUTH said none of them had been attended to. One said she arrived at the hospital by 6:30a.m. but was still waiting to be attended to by 1p.m.

A similar scenario was on at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos, where only senior medical consultants, nurses, ward aides and other auxiliary staff were seen attending to patients in the wards and the Accident and Emergency unit of the hospital.

The outpatient clinics were open but devoid of the usual activities. A hospital source disclosed that contingency measures were in place to cushion the effects of the strike.



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