Nigeria

Resident doctors resume work as patients heave sigh of relief

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has called on the state governors to domesticate and start the full implementation of Medical Residency Training Act.

Resident Doctors in tertiary hospitals have resumed work in some states of the North West on Wednesday in compliance with the directive of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Newsmen recall that the association ordered its members to down tools about 63 days ago, insisting that some demands put forward to the Federal Government must be satisfied.

Checks in Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara states indicated that normalcy had returned, with patients trooping to some tertiary hospitals for treatment.

In Kaduna, Secretary of the association, Dr Abass Ajayi, said patients were being attended to as normal activities had resumed.

He assured that Doctors would do their best to ensure that all patients got the best services, without interruption.

Checks at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatry Hospital, National Ear Care Center and National Eye Centre in the state, indicated that Doctors had resumed work fully, as they were seen attending to patients.

Some of the patients who spoke to newsmen said they were elated by the development as the Consultants were already exhausted.

One of them, Iliya Mallam, a patient at the Ear Care Center, said the suspension gave him hope because lives would be saved.

He said that at the initial stage, patients did not feel the impact of the strike because Consultants were attending to them, but as the industrial action dragged on, services became skeletal.

On his part, Musa Aliyu, a patient at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatry Hospital, said he faced minimal hardship as there were volunteers who assisted the Consultants during the strike.

”We did not face much difficulties due to assistance from volunteers.

”They were attending to us regularly because they know mental health issues are not something to joke with as it can affect everyone, directly or indirectly,” he said.

In Kano, Resident Doctors working with the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) also resumed work on Wednesday.

Dr Mujahid Nur, President of the NARD, AKTH chapter, confirmed this development, saying the suspension of the strike was in compliance with the directive of National officials.

He, however, explained that the industrial action had been suspended for only six weeks as they were awaiting further action from the Federal Government over their demands.

Also, Resident Doctors in Kebbi have resumed work fully at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin Kebbi.

Vice President of NARD, Dr Opeyemi Ojomu, who confirmed the development to newsmen on Wednesday, explained that patients had started trooping to the hospital.

“As you can see by yourself, while you were walking into the hospital, patients had started coming to the hospital.

“We have resumed work fully as I have just attended to few patients now before you were allowed to see me.

“This is the first day; many patients might not come, especially those in the remote areas; tomorrow, the load of work will be overwhelming,” he said.

Speaking on their demands, Ojomu explained that the government had started obliging some of their requests, such as recapturing of their members removed from the scheme of services and those not captured in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

A patient at the hospital, Junaidu Tukur, expressed happiness over the suspension of the strike, adding that he had gone to several private hospitals but was not satisfied with the services rendered.

Malam Hussaini Maishago-Matankari, a resident of Birnin Kebbi, also expressed joy, explaining that he was in the hospital with his wife to see her Doctor.

“I am happy that my wife has been attended to; we have seen her file and the Doctor had asked that we should go for ultra- scanning, which we did, and brought the result to him,” he said.

In Zamfara, Dr Abubakar Muhammad, Deputy Head of Clinical Services of Federal Medical Center, Gusau, said Doctors had resumed duty following the suspension of the strike.

“We have received their resumption letter through their local chapter of ARD and I went round to some of our clinics in the hospital, I found them working,” he told NAN.

Also speaking to newsmen, the ARD President, FMC Gusau, Dr Hussaini Haruna, confirmed the development.

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