By Francis Efe – Warri
The Chief Medical Director of Warri Central Hospital, Delta State, Dr. Festus Okubor on Tuesday called on the striking resident doctors to show understanding and shelve the ongoing strike for the sake of Nigerians.
Okubor, who spoke to Vanguard on telephone also appealed to the Federal Government to quickly address the genuine issues raised by the resident doctors so as to avert the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall that the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria had on Monday embarked on a nationwide strike over complaints of welfare and inadequate protective equipment.
The association, however, exempted doctors treating COVID-19 patients at various treatment and isolation centres in the country from the industrial action.
But Dr. Okubor however appealed to the resident doctors to reconsider their position especially when the nation is facing the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said; “Whereas the demands by the resident doctors are genuine, they have the right to make the demands especially when the issues are in the front burner and government is expected to have addressed them.
It is the failure of the government to address them comprehensively, which has forced the resident doctors to embark on the strike.
“However, the timing is not good, as you are aware that we are dealing with a pandemic. We need all hands to be on deck to deal with this COVID-19 pandemic because it’s a war between us and the virus.
“One is expected that all hands should be on deck, including very critical stakeholders like the resident doctors who are at the Frontline.
“Yes, their demands are legit, but we can only appeal to them to consider the crisis that is on the ground, to consider Nigerians and find a way in their heart to tarry a while and shelve the strike and give the government some time to address their demands.”
“I think that is the best thing to do because it is very important that they call off the strike because not doing that will worsen the situation we already have on the ground as regards the pandemic.
“I strongly join the voices of those calling on the residents’ doctors to reverse their decision. Then again, I am also calling on the government to do the needful and quickly address the issue with the resident doctors,” the Warri Central Hospital CMD added.