From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The ongoing strike by the Joint Health Workers Unions, (JOHESU) is beginning to take a toll on Federal Government owned hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The strike declared by the union last Wednesday has been effective in National Hospital Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada and Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi.
A doctor, who spoke to Daily Sun under condition of anonymity at the National Hospital on Sunday, said doctors have resorted to carrying out the duties of nurses.
“We don’t have any option but to do things like feeding and cleaning up patients.
“For example, doctors on duty in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) have to make sure patients are taken care off. They can’t complain that nurses are on strike and leave patients unattended to”, he said.
Also at the National Hospital, pharmacists fully complied with the JOHESU directive, as the pharmacy was manned on Sunday by an intern and a member of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
At FMC, Jabi, Daily Sun gathered that the hospital was not taking new admissions, even as some patients have been referred to private hospitals.
A patient in the male ward, who didn’t want his name in print confirmed that only doctors have been on duty.
“The nurses and other staff are not working. Only the doctors attended to us in the morning. We are still hoping they (doctors) come here this evening to attend to us”, he explained.
Similarly, staff of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) suspended work last Thursday, with only the Executive Director and very few other top officials of the institution allowed access by staff union who locked up the premises over the strike.
Their action followed directive by JOHESU that all health workers working in Federal Government health institutions suspend work.
This paper learnt that health workers in state-owned health institutions in the country have been directed to join the strike this week.