In order to make up for the shortfall of staff brought on by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) ongoing strike, the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, said that it had hired locum physicians, serving youth corps physicians, and house officers.
Dr. Joseph Eziechila, the hospital’s head of clinical services, said they had to take action to prevent closure in order to keep treating patients.
He added that we have to come up with novel ideas on how to keep the services running. The foundation of healthcare delivery is resident doctors since they are more prevalent.
“We have close to 100 consultants here, but the resident physicians, youth corps members, and other employees—who total around 350—make up the majority of the staff.
“Patients are the first people to contact when they arrive at the hospital, followed by consultants if there are problems.
“However, what we did in this circumstance is that we have some young corps physicians, and we still have a few locum doctors, we have house officers who are not participating in the strike, and we have principal medical officers.
As a result, “we try to use these people as much as we can to keep services, emergency operations, and some other points of service delivery running so that the hospital is not completely shut down.”
The third day of the five-day warning strike began on Friday. Hospitals had to modify their timetables to accommodate as many patients as possible.
According to Mr. Eziechila, the scenario required the consultants to work more than usual.
Even if the strike would only last a short time, he said, “We must deploy all the consultants. We must activate all the consultants to work outside of their regular hours in the outpatient clinic.
“If you arrive at this time, we have about four consultants working simultaneously, and the doctors managing the specialty clinic also manage their own clinic.
“If the strike goes on for a long time, that’s when it becomes a problem, but I had to call a meeting with the departments to ask them to go above and beyond for this very brief period,” the department head said.
He said that the announcement of the strike immediately lowered the high incidence of patient hospital visits, but he claimed that the hospital did not experience a surge in patients as it has in the past.
He claims that when patients learn that physicians are on strike, they will choose to remain home rather than go, unaware that precautions have been taken to ensure they are cared for.
On Tuesday, NARD delivered a letter of warning strike to the Federal government, warning that if the government didn’t resolve the concerns before May 29, it couldn’t guarantee continued industrial peace.
The group gave the federal government a two-week deadline to address the concerns outlined in the letter before it expired on May 13.
According to the doctors’ demands, the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure must be immediately increased by 200 percent of doctors’ existing gross salary.
The NARD is also calling for the urgent withdrawal of a bill requiring recent medical and dental graduates to do five years of mandatory national service in Nigeria before receiving a full license to practice.
Additionally, it calls for the Medical Residency Training Act to be immediately domesticated and for state governments to evaluate the Hazard Allowance.
Beginning on Wednesday, a five-day warning strike concluded on Friday.