From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The strike action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) entered its third day on Sunday with the authorities at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) shutting its doors against a cross section of persons seeking medical attention.
Hospital officials declined to comment on the situation but competent sources hinted that the pool of consultants and some other medical staff deployed to handle the matter could no longer cope with the influx of persons seeking medical attention especially at the emergency and general out-patient wards of the hospital.
According to one of the sources, “we are human beings and there is a limit to which our body systems can cope with.
“We are advising our patients to seek medical attention elsewhere.
“The bulk of the work here is done by the resident doctors and they are on strike.
We attend to patients who only need to be stabilised and those who do not require surgery.”
However, Chairman of the FMC branch of NARD, Dr. Salihu Bolakale, justified the strike action accusing the Federal Government of “senseless response“ to their demands Even as he argued that the union did all it could to avert the strike.
As Bolanle put it, “we are not wicked but we are reacting to a senseless response from the Federal Government that has refused to do the needful.
“The resident doctors did their best to avert the strike and we even warned government about its implications if we should be pushed to going on the strike.
“If you look at all our demands, are they not legitimate? Are they not in the interest of the nation’s health sector?
Imagine, we here are giving our house officers at the FMC a monthly loan of N50,000 each since government has refused to pay them.
“We get this money from the cooperative body of our association, to assist them financially pending the time government will see reasons.”