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Doctors' strike paralyses commercial activities

22 July 2014, 11:49

Abuja - As strike by doctors in government-owned hospitals enters its third week on Monday, medical and commercial activities are paralysed in hospitals within and around government hospitals in Abuja.

NMA embarked on an indefinite strike on July 1, following government’s failure to meet its demands.

A visit to the National Hospital Abuja, Wuse General Hospital and Federal Staff Hospital, Jabi, showed that the nurses, pharmacists and lab scientists were at their duty posts doing nothing as there were no patients to attend to.

Also commercial activities around the hospitals such as food vendors and recharges cards sellers complained of low patronage.

At the Federal Staff Hospital, Jabi,  a lab attendant, who did not want his name mentioned, said "If you come to the lab on a normal day there is usually a crowd here, but as you can see the place is empty."

At the National Hospital, Abuja, a Pharmacist, Kilani Jelili, Chairman of the Senior Staff Association, said that number of patients had reduced as a result of the strike.

Some food vendors said that the strike had affected their businesses as they recorded low patronage.

The NMA demands include a 24-point request for the appointment of four deputy chairmen, Medical Advisory Committee for Teaching Hospitals and establishment of three Federal Medical Centres in the country.

Others are the appointment of only medical doctors as Chief Medical Directors, relativity in the health sector, skipping of Grade Level 12 for medical and dental practitioners and reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform.

It also demanded for increase in hazard and specialist allowances, budget for residency training, speedy passage of the health bill, appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation and universal health coverage, among others.

 - NAN

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