by Oke Efagene
The ongoing 5-day warning strike by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has crippled activities in government-owned hospitals in Lagos State.
The doctors commenced their nationwide strike today, as they had announced earlier in the week.
According to NMA, the strike is to protest the doctors’ poor working conditions, inadequate funding and poor infrastructure in Nigeria’s health sector.
According to reports:
Reports gathered by an agency reporter, who visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, the Lagos State University Teaching hospital (LASITH), Ikeja, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba and National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, showsthat the strike paralysed activities at the facilities.
Consultants and resident doctors were unavailable to attend to scores of patients who thronged the hospitals.
The correspondents also said the situation was the same at the emergency units of the hospitals.
At LASUTH, some patients who were on admission appealed to the doctors to a better means of resolving their grievances with the government instead of embarking on strike.
They said that the striking doctors should consider the health conditions of the common people.
In his comment, a senior resident doctor at LUTH, Dr Peter Ogunnubi, told NAN that a full compliance of the strike by doctors was being enforced.
He said the delay by the Federal Government in addressing the “deterioration’’ in the nation’s health sector had forced them into an industrial action.
“As a result of the poor state of the nation’s health facilities, many of our doctors have been forced to leave the country and work where the condition of service is better.
“The budgetary allocation of five per cent to the sector also falls short of the World Health Organisation’s standard that stipulated at least 15 per cent.
“The Federal Government has allowed certain policies in the running of healthcare system, which if not checked, will lead to total collapse and paralysis of the system,” Ogunnubi said.
Ogunnubi added:“We are not leaving the patients in the lurch, but we are fighting for the good of all.”
Also, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, LASUTH Chapter, noted that there was full compliance with the NMA’s directive on the strike at the hospital.
The State NMA Chairman, Dr Francis Faduyile, believed that the strike was necessary in a bid to draw the government`s attention to their demands.
In his reaction, Dr Olugbenga Owoeye, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, also told NAN that both consultants and resident doctors withdrew their services at the hospitals.
Another consultant at the National Orthorpaedic Hospital, who pleaded anonymity, said doctors at the hospital had also joined the strike.
Dr Osahon Enabulele, the NMA National President, however, indicated that the strike would continue until their demands were met.