Patients at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) on Monday called on the Federal Government and resident doctors to resolve their misunderstanding and end the strike.
The patients made the appeal in separate interviews on Monday with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Gwagwalada.
A visit to the hospital by NAN showed that the usual hustle and bustle was absent, as only the Consultants and House Officers were seen attending to patients.
The industrial action embarked upon by the resident doctors on Sept. 4, had slowed down activities at UATH.
At the General Outpatient Department in the hospital, few patients were seen waiting for their turn to see a doctor while the reception that was usually crowded was empty.
Mrs Amechi Chioma, a patient who visited the hospital at about 8 a.m said even as at 12.30 p.m. she was not attended to.
“I have been waiting for my turn to see the doctor since 8 a.m. Only few doctors are working.
“We just hope the strike will be called off soon to ease the work so that patients can be attended to as soon as they visit,” she said.
Also, a patient at the Medical Outpatient Department who pleaded anonymity said it was the patients that bear the burden.
“The patients suffer the most. As you can see so many patients are waiting to see their doctors and there are about three doctors at this unit attending to over 100 patients.
“We are really suffering. I came here as early as 8 a.m and till 12 p.m I haven’t seen the doctor and I don’t know when to see one,” he said.
He, however, urged the government and the striking doctors to reach an agreement and call off the strike in the interest of poor Nigerians.
“Because the more the delay the more people die.
“The Federal Government and the striking doctors should agree so that the industrial action will end and full services returned to the hospital,” he added.
Mr Aliyu Abubakar, a patient at the eye clinic in the hospital, urged the government to pay the arrears of the doctors so that full services can be returned to the hospital.
Meanwhile, other patients said the strike does not augur well for the nation’s health sector or the economy as it was destroying the nation’s public healthcare system.
They said people prefer the government hospital because of poverty, adding that most Nigerians cannot afford traveling aboard for medical treatment.