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Patients in Lagos find respite as doctors’ strike ceases

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Patients in Lagos find respite as doctors’ strike ceases

Patients seeking treatment at several public hospitals in Lagos State are relieved as medical doctors in the country have suspended their recent strike.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) initiated the strike on July 26 due to the Federal Government’s failure to meet their demands.

This walkout had severely disrupted services at tertiary hospitals and Federal Medical Centres nationwide.

The NARD instructed its members to return to work on August 12 following productive discussions with lawmakers, led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Earlier, on August 2, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos Zone, had directed doctors in three government hospitals on Lagos Island to begin an indefinite strike after the tragic death of Dr. Vwaere Diaso.

READ ALSO: Resident doctors halt nationwide strike action

Additionally, doctors in all other government hospitals were advised to focus solely on emergency cases for the next five days out of respect for the deceased.

Normalcy has now been restored to clinical services at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Igando General Hospital, as observed during a visit.

Patients expressed their relief, emphasizing the hardship they faced during medical strikes.

Mrs. Oluwaseyi Odunayo, an expectant mother at Igando Hospital, commended the truce while urging governments to address the recurring issues leading to such strikes.

“I came to the hospital on Aug. 4, but couldn’t see the physician. I was told they are on strike and only attend to emergency cases alone,” said Odunayo.

“More efforts should be put into improving the health sector as it will help people get timely, high-quality health care services that will promote well-being.”

Mr. Vincent Akpan, a trader, appealed for an end to acrimony and emphasized the importance of patient safety in healthcare delivery.

“Strikes by health professionals often result in limited access to healthcare, strain on remaining staff, disrupted appointments, and increased morbidity,” said Akpan.

“My appointments at LASUTH in the last four months have been affected by various strikes. From the Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to NUAHP and then the five days strike declared by Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to mourn the doctor that died in the elevator accident. All these while, I have been going to a private hospital in my area but the cost of accessing care there is higher, so, I am glad to see normalcy return to clinical operations at LASUTH.”

Similarly, a retiree at the diabetes clinic in LASUTH, Mrs. Adenike Adenola, expressed concern that frequent strikes, though valid, could undermine public confidence in the healthcare system.

Adenola urged both the government and medical professionals to find a resolution that prioritizes patient well-being and public trust.

NARD’s demands include the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), as well as steps to increase the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and clear salary arrears owed to members since 2015.

NAN

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