the ongoing strike through experts in the health sector has left a bitter taste in the mouths of patients and stakeholders, Success Nwogu and Bukola Adebayo file…
When two elephants battle, the grass, they are saying suffers. This maxim is at the moment playing out within the nation’s public hospitals, following the nationwide industrial motion embarked upon by all well being experts beneath the aegis of the Joint health Sector Union in federal hospitals in the country.
in fact, the forlorn seem to be on the face of Mrs. Blessing Obi on Tuesday, at the Lagos college instructing sanatorium, Idi-Araba, Lagos, simply conveyed this hopeless state of affairs.
taking a look dejected and confused, the 50-yr-outdated woman recounts to one in every of our correspondents the difficulties her household is having to get clinical consideration for her cousin, Ugochukwu, who used to be taken with a street accident closing week.
a well-liked private hospital had given a referral to Ugochukwu, to searching for the services and products of LUTH. Armed with the referral,Obi came to the clinic effervescent with the enthusiasm and hopeful that Ugochukwu’s problems would be resolved eventually.
unfortunately, there was once no well being employee on ground to attend to her cousin.
it is not best the patients which can be witnessing this frustration and inaction within the sanatorium. docs are dealing with laborious occasions in discharging their tasks. they don’t have get right of entry to to clinical reviews, pharmacy and the laboratories, in addition to many other departments of the health facility.
A male physician at the Accident and Emergency unit of the sanatorium stated the strike had interferred with their duties to patients.
He stated, “It has in point of fact been frustrating as a result of we should not have get right of entry to to the information of those sufferers, we are just treating them from what we have now committed to reminiscence. The patients have to head out of LUTH to buy medicine since the pharmacy has been below lock.
“though we have now medical students who may help, we can not perform surgeries because the unions got here to lock up the nursing stations and operating booth the place provides are stored. they only need to guarantee that the clinic is paralysed while they are on strike.
“i have been doing in a single day (name responsibility) since the remaining 72 hours, we can not let sufferers which have been on admission die because of strike.”
apart from the frustration experienced with the aid of medical doctors, sufferers and their family members, the strike can be exposing the household of the sufferers to financial difficulties.
Mr. Adesuwa Onafowokan, whose wife was once due for a surgical operation for most cancers at LUTH, said he might no longer have enough money to take his spouse to every other medical institution because the docs steered.
He stated, “The surgical operation my spouse is to endure in LUTH will cost simply N100, 000 but after I attempted to switch her to a private sanatorium in Ikeja where they can function the operation, they asked for a deposit of N1.2m.
“I additionally went to LASUTH, however they didn’t have mattress area. in line with them, since the strike started, they have been accommodating sufferers from LUTH and other federal hospitals. I took her house , however she began bleeding again. I had to return her to LUTH this morning. I pleaded passionately prior to they took her back.”
every other breast most cancers patient, who plead anonymity, said the strike had resulted within the indefinite postponement of the surgery.
Obi mentioned, “I flew in from Abuja final night time most effective to be turned again this morning for a surgical operation that was booked three months ago. Why won’t there be a backlog of patients ready for surgery?government says it does no longer need patients to move to India or united kingdom for therapy, but it’s obviously now not able to pay its employees.
“i am offended and in pain. i will most effective have this surgical treatment performed at LUTH as a result of that’s where there is a functional radiotherapy computing device and the charge just isn’t excessive. If I were to do it in a personal hospital in Abuja, I must pay N2m first.”
The sufferers on the nationwide Orthopaedic health center, Igbobi, Lagos aren’t faring any better. actually, the stench emanating from the wards inform it all. just title it, from the emergency unit to the ward, the putrid smell of rottenness is in every single place.
in step with a affected person at the J Ward, no nurse has come to have a tendency the in poor health due to the strike.
He mentioned, “When wounds usually are not dressed they deteriorate. If they don’t name off this strike this week, my condition may just get to the point where they will need to amputate my leg. I learnt the strike ultimate year price many patients their legs and arms. We can’t leave. there’s no other orthopaedic sanatorium to head to in Lagos and our wounds are too severe for us to be moved round.”
‘The ward smells because the wounds are decaying and docs cannot do this while they are attending to almost 30 of us in a day. The toilets are additionally not easy. you will see bloodstains on the sheets as a result of we can not even move to alter it. i have to lie on my back.
“When ASUU goes on strike no one dies, however when doctors, nurses go on strike folks die. docs and different well being staff must realise that they can’t proceed to hold executive ransom with strike, sufferers should not chickens that may be slaughtered at will.”
The state of affairs is the same on the university of Ilorin teaching hospital where medical doctors are the only ones on responsibility. one of our correspondents, who visited the health center, seen that the docs have been combining their duties with those of the putting workers.
also, there is a discount in choice of patients ,bearing in mind the massive inhabitants of sufferers most often witnessed on the health center prior to the strike.
Some sufferers, whose scientific stipulations weren’t crucial, had been discharged whereas emphasis is laid on emergency and crucial cases.
The Kwara State Secretary of the Nigerian scientific association, Dr. Mohammed Nababa, instructed our correspondent who monitored the situation at the UITH, that the docs would no longer join the strike.
He stated, “we know that the allied well being workers are on strike however doctors aren’t.We now deal with sufferers files .we’re coordinating everything. we now have sorted accidents, emergencies and seriously in poor health sufferers in the hospitals.
“clinical college students and medical doctors now run shift the best way fortify team of workers in most cases do. We handle the record side via protecting folders.”
Pharmacists, docs change blame
in the meantime, the nationwide President of the Nigerian scientific affiliation, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, remaining week, issued a directive to all docs to be sure that they have been at their duty posts.
The directive learn, “For the record, we need to inform the general public that hospitals will remain open for session via doctors.
“on the other hand, we verify that no team or union has monopoly over the usage of strike actions in in the hunt for the actualisation of its targets. subsequently, the NMA shall no longer hesitate to use the identical means if government fails to uphold the rule of regulation and succumbs to blackmail and intimidation. We insist on the enthronement of professionalism and now not feelings as way to bring about lasting peace within the health sector.”
This directive has struck a discordant tune amongst other experts within the sector.
For the national President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, the nationwide strike was avoidable.
in line with Akintayo, the health employees had been provoked by means of some recent selections taken by means of the Federal executive which, he claimed, favoured doctors above other health professionals.
He said, “executive is to be blamed for the issues inflicting this strike. For some bizarre causes, the minister of health, who is a health care provider, sent a circular to instructing hospitals that individuals of different professions can’t turn into consultants. we aren’t pronouncing we wish to transform consultant docs. How can any one say I can’t be a expert pharmacist? it’s a cadre recognised across the world.
“How do we provide an explanation for a scenario where 5 directors out of six skilled directorates within the Federal Ministry of health are doctors whereas different professional groups would not have a single director representing their pastime?
“it’s a disgrace that we have now a ministry of doctors now not of well being. more than any other time, now we have skilled unlawful appointments of docs with out input from other sectors. govt encourages a system in well being care that fosters an agenda of discriminatory privileges.”