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Strike: Patients vacate medical centres

02 October 2013, 15:04

Kaduna -  The nationwide strike embarked by Resident Doctors has crippled activities at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria as patients were seeing vacating the hospital.

Also affected was the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, where the doctors have also joined the strike.

Check by Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday reveals that many patients and their relations were busy leaving the hospitals.

A relation to one of the patients on admission at ABUTH, Gambo Yakasai told NAN that they have decided to seek for alternative medication elsewhere.

"We were shocked when the information about the commencement of the strike reached us, we therefore have to think of how to transfer our patients elsewhere, since we cannot allow them to be knocked down by sickness," he said.

Maryam Ibrahim, said she was in the hospital on appointment, adding, "this strike is neither good for the patients nor for the nation''.

When contacted, the Chief Medical Director, ABUTH, Prof. Khalid Lawal said consultants had been deployed to provide skeletal services at the hospital.

"Our consultants are providing skeletal services in the hospital, our Accident and Emergency unit is also providing its usual essential services. Even during the previous strike our consultants had provided skeletal services," he said.

On patients vacating the hospital, Lawal assured that most of them had "less severe illnesses'' and were discharged by the doctors.

At the National Eye Centre, patients were also seeing waiting at the Out-Patient Department with no doctors to attend to them.

Dr Yohanna Joseph, the Chairman of the Resident Doctors Association of the centre said they had joined the indefinite strike.

According to him, the strike will continue until all issues of training, work conditions and salary are fully addressed.

On his part, Lawal Bala, the Public Relations Officer of the centre said the management had deployed consultants to fill in the gap caused by the strike, assuring that services at the hospital would not be grounded.

Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Kaduna State Diabetic Association, Sani Hassan described the persistent strike in the health sector as "pathetic'', and called for urgent negotiations to end the current strike.

"I want to plead with both parties to sheath their sword for the betterment of the health sector and the nation at large."

-   NAN


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