Patients at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu State, have called for help from the Federal government, urging it to respond to the demands of the health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals, JOHESU who have been on strike to press home their call for better working environment.
A concerned patient who identified himself as Chijioke Nwugo Ugwa, in an SOS call, lamented that many lives had been lost as a result of the lingering industrial action embarked upon by the health workers.
Mr. Ugwa who hails from Akokwa in Imo State has been confined to a wheelchair for about 18 years following an armed robbery attack at the Capital city of Enugu in 1999.
He took to his Facebook page on Monday, October 2, 2017, to raise the alarm over the sad turn out of events at the hospital while calling on both the Federal government to come to their aid and on the health workers to call off the strike.
He wrote: “Happy New Month Friends….. We patients at the National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu are calling on the Federal Government to call off the strike….. We are not happy that we lost a lot of lives here because nurses are on strike…… Please Federal Government should do something”.
The visibly disappointed patient who decried his deteriorating state of health as a result of the neglect by the health workers said other patients have also been helplessly abandoned to fate in their respected wards.
He said: “My condition is getting worse. Emmanuel Ibeabuchi (one of the patients) who has bedsores has been abandoned since the nurses went on strike”.
Two other patients, Goodness and Zachariah, who both sustained varying degrees of injuries on their legs wallow in excruciating pains at the ward 5 section of the orthopedic hospital.
Ugwu further pointed out that one of the patients identified only as Chinaemerem, has been discharged, but has been retained at the hospital due to his inability to foot his bills.
“One patient in our ward has died. Other patients are inside the wards helplessly. The doctors do come around but the nurses are nowhere to be found. “We need federal government to come on our rescue,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the workers’union has announced a suspension of the strike action which started on September 20 to protest against burning issues such as salaries adjustments, promotion arrears and improved work environment for members.
After a meeting with the federal government in Abuja on Saturday, September 30,2017, the national chairman of the union, Biobelemoye Josiah noted that the strike had been suspended “in principle”, as a NEC meeting of the union will be held today, Tuesday to reach a final conclusion.
He said the union has reached an agreement with the Federal government and workers are to resume back to work on Wednesday.