BY Sola Ogundipe, Ola Ajayi, Racheal Olayiwola & Faith Oyibotie
The five-day warning strike called by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, took its toll on healthcare services in public hospitals, yesterday, as patients waited long hours without getting attention from doctors who stayed away from their duty posts.
The strike, which took off on a slow pace in most hospitals in Lagos and Ibadan, later became total.
At Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, only senior medical consultants, nurses, ward aides and other ancillary staff were observed attending to patients in the wards and the accident and emergency unit.
The institution’s outpatient clinics, which were open for the day’s business, were devoid of the usual activities.
A hospital source disclosed that contingency measures were in place to cushion effects of the strike.
At the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, attention to patients was later suspended as doctors complied with NMA’s directive.
A similar scenario played out at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, where dozens of patients that had booked appointments were told to go home after waiting for hours without getting attention.
In a reaction to the development, Chairman NMA, LagosState branch, Dr. Francis Faduyile, said: “It is a full blown strike. This is the first strike called by the NMA in the last 10 years.”
At the UniversityCollegeHospital, Ibadan, several patients, except those on emergency, were turned back and forced to seek alternative medical attention.