According to NAN, joyful patients at select public hospitals in Lagos State are relieved as medical doctors across the nation end their strike. Over recent times, the country’s medical institutions have been disrupted by a series of industrial actions.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) initiated the strike on July 26 due to unmet demands from the Federal Government. The resulting hospital service shutdown affected tertiary hospitals and Federal Medical Centres nationwide.
Following a productive discussion with lawmakers, led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the association instructed its members to resume on August 12.
In another instance, the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos Zone, directed medical doctors in three government hospitals on Lagos Island to commence an indefinite strike due to the tragic death of Dr. Vwaere Diaso. Additionally, doctors in other government hospitals in the state were advised to focus solely on emergency cases for the next five days as a tribute to the deceased.
Normalcy has returned to clinical services at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Igando General Hospital.
Patients expressed their gratitude for the end of the strike, acknowledging the challenges they faced during such disruptions. They called for immediate resolution of issues causing recurring strikes in the health sector.
Vincent Akpan, a trader, emphasized the impact of health professional strikes on healthcare accessibility, staff workload, appointments, and overall morbidity. He appreciated the return to normal operations at LASUTH.
Mrs. Adenike Adenola, a retiree at LASUTH’s diabetes clinic, noted that although strikes might be valid, they could undermine public trust in the healthcare system. She urged the government and medical professionals to address the issue to maintain patient confidence collaboratively.
The demands of NARD include the prompt disbursement of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) and concrete steps towards increasing the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). They also insist on clearing all salary arrears owed to members since 2015.