By Sola Ogundipe, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Gabriel Olawale
Patients continue to bear full brunt of the health workers’ strike called by the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, as essential services remain grounded in federal hospitals across the nation, even as intern nurses provide skeletal services.
More workers from Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres, weekend, joined the strike that is currently in compliance by over 40 chapters of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM.
Findings by Vanguard revealed that in many of the institutions, the medical and surgical clinics, including the Accident and Emergency Wards, were deserted and inaccessible in some instances to in-patients and out-patients alike.
Patients whose cases were not very serious were discharged, while others with more serious challenges were managed by medical doctors and their (patients’) relatives.
In a related development, National Chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, has called on the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to caution medical doctors from provoking members of the union.
Josiah was reacting to an alleged assault on branch chairman of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Fidelis Ogobor, by management of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State.
Specifically, JOHESU alleged that the Chairman of the Hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, manhandled the Union chairman when he led a monitoring team to supervise compliance of the ongoing strike.
“Our attention has been drawn to the malhandling of the JOHESU Branch Chairman of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, Comrade Fidelis Ogobor by the Chairman of the hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, Dr. Wilson ovienria on Friday september 22, 2017, just when Comrade ogobor was leading a monitoring team to check compliance of workers to the strike called by the national body of JOHESU.
“JOHESU by this statement call on the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor. Isaac Adewole to as a matter of urgency call Doctors across hospitals in Nigeria to be mindful of provoking our members who have remained calm since we called for strike and will remain so, while waiting patiently for government to do the needful.”