The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD)’s five-day warning strike entered its second day, leaving patients across the country distressed and without treatment in public hospitals.
The situation has become especially dire in public health facilities in Nasarawa State and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Kaduna, where patients were left uncared for due to the doctors’ strike.
The circumstances are similarly grim in public hospitals across other parts of the country, from the East to the West and the North.
The strike has led to an exodus of patients to private hospitals, causing a sudden surge in business for these facilities. However, this comes at a significantly higher cost to the patients. In addition, many relatives and friends of admitted patients were spotted moving their loved ones to private hospitals within their state.
Last Wednesday, resident doctors announced a five-day warning strike prompted by the federal government’s failure to address their demands.
The doctors pointed out issues leading to the strike, including poor infrastructure, a severe shortage of manpower in the health sector, non-payment of medical residency training funds, no increments of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, and the failure of state governments nationwide to pay doctors’ salary arrears.
During a visit to the Nasarawa State government-run Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia, it was observed that none of the resident doctors, especially those on call, were seen at their duty posts. In addition, major hospital sections, such as outpatient, casualty, and maternity units that usually have a high influx of patients, were locked up, leaving patients without care.
Dr Yakubu Adeleke Ademola, the NARD Chairman in the state, who was seen touring the hospital and other officials to ensure resident doctors adhered to the strike, stated that they had no other option than to comply with the strike directive.
An 80-year-old Baba Hassan Audu patient expressed his distress over being unable to treat his toothache. Similarly, Mrs Halima Tanko called for an immediate end to the strike, expressing her concern that her twin babies’ lives were in danger.
Editorial “Patients in Distress: Urgent Intervention Needed as Doctors’ Strike in Nigeria Enters Day Two”
The ongoing five-day warning strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has put public healthcare in Nigeria on the brink of crisis. As the strike enters its second day, countless patients are left untreated in public hospitals, causing extreme distress and worry among them and their loved ones.
This strike, though regrettable, serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing healthcare professionals in the country. It underscores their grievances about inadequate infrastructure, manpower shortage, non-payment of medical residency training funds, stagnant salaries, and the state government’s failure to pay salary arrears.
The current situation poses a significant risk to public health, particularly affecting the most vulnerable who depend on the public healthcare system and cannot afford the high costs of private hospitals.
Immediate intervention is needed from the government to resolve the crisis, prioritizing both the doctors’ grievances and the patients’ urgent needs.
This situation underscores the necessity for sustainable reforms in the Nigerian health sector to ensure such crises are avoided in the future.
Did you know?
- The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is a significant professional association of medical doctors in Nigeria.
- Resident doctors constitute a significant portion of doctors in Nigeria’s healthcare system.
- NARD has frequently embarked on strikes due to issues related to salaries, infrastructure, and working conditions.
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