Lovina Emole, Uyo
The University of Uyo Teaching hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State still runs emergency services, amidst the ongoing nation wide strike by resident doctors in Nigeria, Niger Delta Connect had learnt.
Recall that the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had on Thursday, April 1, 2021 embarked on an indefinite strike due to failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands.
In a communiqué issued at the end of NARD’s congress endorsed by its president, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the union directed members to down tools until their demands which bordered on payment of all salaries owed house officers including March salaries, general welfare of workers, removal of the president of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi amongst other demands were met.
When our correspondent visited the UUTH, to ascertain the level of compliance at the hospital, it was discovered that everywhere looked deserted as few workers particularly the administrative officers were on ground and no resident doctor was found.
But when the Chief Medical Director of UUTH, Prof EmemAbasi Bassey was contacted he said though the resident doctors in the centre are observing the strike but he reached an agreement with them to run emergency services.
He added that though ’emergency’ has categories but they would try their best to ensure that life threatening cases are attended to immediately.
Expressing hope that the strike would soon be called off, Prof. Bassey urged the resident doctors to also shift grounds a little while negotiation remained ongoing, noting that some of the demands therein may not be reached in a short term.
According to him: “Once you start a strike, it might take a little time to be called off especially when it falls in a weekend and public holiday as well. One thing with NARD is that there strikes start with a congress and they need to have another congress to call it off.
“But on our own, we are still keeping emergency services running, that is the arrangement I reached with the resident doctors. Consultants are still working, though they still need assistance from other officers because they cannot work alone.
“On the demands made by NARD, I saw a whole lot of them and don’t know how realistic some of them are in a short term. For me I will plead that the doctors should also shift grounds a little while negotiation continues. It is not possible to meet all demands at the same time and government on its own should implement some of its promises”.