By Gabriel Olawale
DISTRESSED patients and their relatives at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, RSUTH, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, appealed to the Federal government to resolve the grievances of nationwide striking resident doctors so they can return to work and attend to them.
The worried patients and relatives expressed concern as the Rivers State government threatened to enforce a no work, no pay order against the striking doctors at the state-owned health institutions.
Esther Akpan whose son has been nursing fractured arms at the RSUTH, Port Harcourt, was among the complainants who made the appeal as the strike by the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, entered the third day in the state.
“I came here for medication for my baby, he fractured his hands and cannot fold them. The hospital had been attending to him before now but since the strike commenced, he has not been attended to.
“No treatment, no injections, nothing. I appeal to government to negotiate with the aggrieved doctors and pay them at least some part of what they are owed so they can resume work,” she lamented.
According to Gerald Nnana whose son is also sick: “We came for checkup, we were discharged last two weeks. They have attended to me but it took much waiting because there is only one doctor on ground in the Children’s Clinic. There is supposed to be about five or six doctors, but now there is only one.
“Doctor’s and government should come to a round table and resolve this crisis because patients are suffering. There are people coming with emergencies and no one is talking to them”
A staff member of the hospital told Vanguard on condition of anonymity that, “The hospital is usually packed with relatives of patients.
“But with most of the patients discharged since the strike commenced, the facility has been largely empty”
Another staff, Mr Emson Woyengiemi said, “Concerning NARD, I am seeing them around. I don’t know if they are here to hold a meeting regarding the no work no pay order by the State Government but they have not resumed.”