Doctors’ Strike: Patients desert Enugu hospital wards

Following an industrial strike embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), patients who were admitted in various wards have left for other hospitals.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited the hospital on Tuesday in Enugu, observed that patients had deserted the wards.

A senior nurse who spoke under condition of anonymity said that patients were asked to vacate the wards as the few consultants available could not attend to all the patients.

She added that those with critical and emergency cases were asked to remain in the wards for treatment.

At the children’s ward, only two children were left due to the severity of their health challenges as they had oxygen max on.

However, in the orthopaedic and postnatal wards, a few patients were seen due to their critical conditions, while others had severe cases due to childbirth.

Ike Okwesili, the chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Enugu State chapter, noted that the impact of the strike was compounding hardships of patients, especially in terms of logistics.

He added that NMA had met with stakeholders with a view to preventing the strike but to no avail as the state government was yet to resolve the issue.

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Mr Okwesili explained that there had been a disparity in the case of Enugu State as the allowances which ESUTH doctors were asking for were paid to doctors in the Ministry of Health, leaving those of ESUTH resident doctors.

NAN reports that the doctors, who commenced strike on November 28, are protesting the disparity in payment of salaries of doctors in the state health ministry and those of ESUTH by the state government. (NAN)

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