Jimoh Yovo, a broken-leg patient requiring surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), is stranded due to the ongoing industrial action of resident doctors and his family are crying out for help.
Yovo suffered the bike accident in the Jakande area of Lagos on Monday, sustaining serious mouth injury and a broken leg. He was rushed to a general hospital on the island but was rejected on the grounds that doctors were on strike. He was eventually admitted into the Surgical Emergency Section at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where surgery was found necessary. But four days down the line, there’s no doctor to carry out the surgery.
“The nurses are doing their best,” Jimoh’s mother told FIJ. “But the work of a nurse is different from that of a doctor. Please, help us appeal to them to call off the strike.”
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) commenced an indefinite strike Last week Thursday over government’s failure to meet its demands which include, payment of death in service insurance for health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection and a review of hazard allowance to 50 percent of basic salaries of all health workers.
Nigerians have had to suffer inadequate health service following the strike, a development many fear would lead to more deaths in Nigerian tertiary hospitals.
A nurse at the hospital told FIJ: “Those that will die will die while those that will live will live”. According to the nurse, preventable death is inevitable since there are no doctors to attend to patients.
“Patients will be sent back from the hospital, and they will return home hoping for an end to the strike,” she said.
“I know a patient who has fibroid and needs surgery. The fibroid is getting bigger and might reach complicated stage if not brought out on time. A private hospital would not do it for less than N500,000, which she can’t afford. LASUTH would have done it for N250,000.”
Resident doctors make up the larger percentage of doctors in Nigerian hospitals, and can be regarded as the backbone of the nation’s health sector.
Relatives of patients at LASUTH pleaded with government to attend to the needs of the striking doctors as their contribution to the healthy living of citizens cannot be overestimated.
“These people are helping us. Our patients need them. Help us beg government to meet their demands so they can return on time,” one of the relatives said.
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