Maudlyn Eduke, Yenagoa
The two days old strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has turned the Federal Medical Center, Yenagoa in Bayelsa State into a ghost yard.
Our correspondent who visited the hospital on Friday, reports that the once active FMC has been deserted, leaving only nurses and other medical personnel to attend to non critical cases.
A Principal Nursing Officer, Ken-Umba Chinwe, said the hospital has been making referrals to other hospitals and the patients that don’t need critical care have been discharged.
“Most of the patients that we have and some of them are critical cases That you can’t really allow them to go home, so we are still nursing them, giving them the drugs.
“We have some senior doctors that are not part of the strike they still come to see to the patients. The casualty doctors are on ground to see the inpatient and any emergency that comes in.
“A lot of referrals have been done since yesterday. Even currently they are discharging the stable ones to go home while some unstable ones might be referred to Bayelsa State Government hospital or just be given nursing care.
“There are some critical ones that it’s not wise to move them and some the consultants see and go. For now we only take on emergencies”, she said.
Some patients and their families who have also felt the impact of the NARD strike as there are very few doctors attending to them, bemoned the situation.
Most of them have been referred to other private hospitals but regretted that the stress of the transfer and the exorbitant nature of the private hospitals is what they cannot afford.
Miss Debra Francis, who had brought her mother to the hospital earlier in the week, lamented the effect the strike has had on her mother’s health.
“We came here on Tuesday, before the strike was called. We were placed in the emergency ward but on Wednesday they were threatening with the strike but we thought it wouldn’t take effect.
“Everyone was finding a way to leave the hospital because we heard of they find any doctor attending to a patient they will be fined.
“The other senior doctors were attending to the more serious cases, like those who needed oxygen.
“It hasn’t been easy because she has had some complications but there’s no doctor to attend to her. Today I had to administer her drugs to her before we had to beg a nurse to come dress her leg.
“Now we are preparing to transfer to another hospital and that is really expensive”.