OVERVIEW OF: Osun State residents lament Doctors’ Strike
Even as the industrial action called upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is in full swing, Nigerians have expressed hope that it will not take much before it will be called off while some have expressed sadness over the continual rot in the country’s health sector.
Speaking to Our Source on Saturday, some residents of Osogbo lamented that the health situation in the state that was just picking up due to the implementation of the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) was going to nosedive again if the strike action is not quickly suspended.
A health worker, Caroline Onigbinde stated that since it was resident doctors that were on strike, the worst affected health institutions were the tertiary categories which included Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, and Osun State University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Osogbo.
She complained that the little gains achieved may be derailed with prolonged strike action.
While calling on the government and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to quickly settle the issue, she called for a policy to be put in place that would settle all future disagreements before they degenerated into a crisis.
Ayo Ologun stated that it was wrong for the president, Muhammadu Buhari to have traveled out of the country for a two weeks medical vacation on the eve of impending strike action by the resident's doctors.
According to him, the act by the president indicated that the elites do not have faith in the country’s medical system.
He noted that the elites and politicians were the nation’s problem because they had the opportunity to revamp the health system during the COVID-19 lockdown but failed to do so because they felt they were not accountable to the Nigerian masses.
Meanwhile, a staff of the State Ministry of Health who did not want his name to be mentioned in print stated that if not quickly resolved, most patients that used to consult with tertiary health institutions would soon migrate to private ones.
According to him, “most of these resident doctors have private medical centers. Though what they are fighting for is right still they will be at their private medical practice now attending to patients who hitherto were supposed to be patients in teaching hospitals.
“While this is good for them, it is not good for the system because these private hospitals are not specialist ones and the health of their patients may suffer the more.”
Our Source reports that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had embarked on nationwide indefinite strike action on Thursday, 1st of April, 2021.
The industrial action started after a failed attempt by the association to get the federal government to meet its demands which included non-payment of allowances, availability of standard medical equipment, and inadequacy of health facilities.
Meanwhile, Our Source observed that some public health institutions within the state capital have been operating optimally as the effects of the indefinite strike have not been felt by them yet. This may be due to the Easter celebration.