Reporter : CHUKWUBIKE MADU
Medical services have been greatly affected at federal health facilities in Enugu.
This followed indefinite strike by resident doctors in the hospitals over unpaid earned allowances and unfavorable condition of service.
Radio Nigeria visited three tertiary hospitals in Enugu, to monitor the strike and observed that development had left some patients stranded and in despair.
When Radio Nigeria visited the National Orthopeadic Hospital, Enugu, only nurses were seen attending to patients, who were already on admission.
One of the nurses, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Radio Nigeria that consultants were the ones attending to patients but pointed out that there was a limit to what consultants could do as the striking resident doctors constituted the greater percentage of medical personnel in the hospital.
Meanwhile, a health worker in the hospital, who also did not want his name mentioned, said they had been rejecting patients since the commencement of the strike.
He said he witnessed how some accident victims were rejected by those on duty in night of the second day of the strike.
“They said they were traveling that night when they had an accident and they were rushed here and one of them was dead already.
“Unfortunately, those on duty turned them down, explaining to them that doctors were on strike and no one will treat them if they were admitted,” he narrated.
He expressed unhappiness that “the strike is on at a time President Mohammadu Buhari had gone to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.
Similarly at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, resident doctors were all absent from duty.
A consultant, who wanted to grant interview to Radio Nigeria, could not do so as he was busy on phone making inquiries where to refer a four month old baby boy who needed to be operated upon urgently.
The father of the baby, who also did not give his name, said the baby had not urinated and defecated for the past six days.
“We came all the way from Nsukka because our baby was sick. The result of the lab test we did before coming here showed that there was a blockage inside the stomach of the baby.
“We went to Parklane hospital and they said they could not handle it. We had gone to Mother of Christ Catholic Hospital, they said they could not do it. we went to 82 Division hospital, where they referred us to UNTH.
“Unfortunately the consultant here is referring us to a private hospital, saying that resident doctors who will help out in the operation and treatment of the baby are on strike. This is bad, why will the doctors be on strike now I need the the most,” the man lamented.
However, the situation was different at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teacing Hospital, Parklane Enugu as resident doctors were on call and seen performing their duties.
One of them claimed that they did not join because doctors in the state owned hospitals might not benefit from the fruits of the strike.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) began a nation-wide strike on April 1, 2021 over some unpaid salaries, poor hazard allowance, failure of government to pay COVID-19 allowance, among other issues.