Augustine Okezie, Katsina
SOME patients at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu have lamented over the industrial action by the Joint Health Workers’ Union (JOHESU) as the strike entered the second day.
Also, the premises and hospital wards at the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, looked deserted yesterday on the second day of the strike.
Some of the patients, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Enugu, expressed worry over the development.
They, therefore, urged the government to find a solution to the perennial strike as many people are dying while the strike last.
They said health workers had abandoned their duties and decry patients’ inabilities to access complete health care services, thereby worsening their health condition.
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The strike, which began on Sept. 14, nationwide took patients on appointments, and those on admission, by surprise as many of them claimed to have had no previous information of the strike.
Most of the consulting rooms were devoid of their usual activities as they were empty with no patient, while the laboratory and card rooms were under lock.
Some patients, who came for treatment, complained that they were not attended to, as no worker was available to retrieve their medical record folder for treatment.
At the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, a learner at one of the wards, who simply identified himself as Sani Abdul, told The Nation that the hospital was no longer busy because of the ongoing strike.
He said: “As you can see, the whole place is virtually empty, because families of the patients came here yesterday and evacuated them to the state General Hospitals and the private clinics. We are not working.
“But the doctors and the consultants are working and can only attend to patients in critical conditions, by prescribing medications which they can go and buy elsewhere. But those requiring testing and surgery and other medical attention are being diverted elsewhere.’’
JOHESU FMC Chairman Comrade Shamsu Lawal told The Nation that the compliance level for the warning strike at FMC was total, following an approval obtained at the congress meeting held on Monday.