From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
As the nationwide strike embarked upon by resident doctors enters day three, hospitals in Benue State have started asking their patients on admission to return home.
The Association of Resident Doctors in Benue State had on Monday joined their colleagues across the country to embark on the nationwide strike vowing that there is no going back until their demands are met.
On Tuesday evening, some of the patients on admission at government hospitals in Makurdi lamented that they had been told vacate the hospitals and return home.
One of the patients on admission at the general hospital Makurdi who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity disclosed that they were asked to leave the hospital and go home on Tuesday.
“They also told those of us who are owing huge amount to sign an undertaking of payment and leave the hospital facility until the strike is called off.”
Our source whose wife had been on admission for sometime now expressed worries that abruptly discharging his wife who has not recovered from her ailment may worsen her situation.
He lamented that her condition may deteriorate if she doesn’t continue to get medical attention.
“My wife had serious issues and had gone into coma but was revived after some time. We have been in the hospital for sometime and if I take her home without medical attention, she might relapse again,” he lamented.
Another patient who has a fracture on his thigh wondered where he would go with a broken thigh without medical attention.
Reacting to the development, a consultant who works with the Federal Medical Center, (FMC), Makurdi, hinted that the strike has crippled activities at the hospital.
“The hospital is now a ghost of itself. We can’t run the place without them (resident doctors).
“They are the foot soldiers. It’s just like asking the generals to mobilize themselves to fight Boko Haram. The generals can’t fight that battle, they can only direct. So, it is the same thing. The resident doctors are the ones who do the job, we can only direct. And once they are not there, there is nothing we can do.
The medical doctor who did not want to be named blamed the government for paying lip service to the issues of healthcare and education in the country.
“I don’t think government is taking some of its responsibilities seriously. The minimum any democratic government should offer is a good health care system and a good education system. But all the money is being spent on security.
“We are not giving attention to health and education and if we take care of these two, security will take care of itself. All the people who are stable, we would discharge them and those that are bad, we will refer them.
“Those that only need to complete their medication, we leave them and the nurses will continue to administer the drugs to them,” he said.