Gwagwalada (FCT) – Some patients at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) on Tuesday called on striking resident doctors to suspend their industrial action.
The patients also appealed to the Federal Government to dialogue with the doctors to amicably resolve the six weeks dispute.
A patient, Mr Solomon Shaba, who suffers a liver problem and was on admission before the strike, appealed to the relevant authorities to end the strike.
“We are not happy about the situation. About four patients who left the hospital due to the strike are now dead.
“The nurses are trying, but we want the doctors around,” he urged.
A pregnant woman, Mrs Gloria Sunday, also called for an end to the strike, saying some of the pregnant women registered in the hospital were due for delivery.
“I heard that those who are due for delivery during the strike period visit other hospitals.
“Some of us cannot afford the medical bills at the private hospitals. Though the nurses are on ground, but the doctors are supposed to be present in case of complications,’’ she said.
Similarly, Mrs Esther Emmanuel, another pregnant woman, said she saw a gynaecologist only once before the strike began.
“I have little complication and only the doctors can handle the problem,” she said.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director, Dr Peter Alabi, had said that the resident doctors at UATH joined the strike on July 2 to press home their demand over the issue of skipping salary grade.
According to him, the level skipping demanded for was CONHESS 2, but it was not contained in the last budget.
“In November 2013, there was a circular stating that doctors like other health workers should skip salary grade.
“Our budget did not include skipping of salary grade, but the Ministry of Health said that it is willing to make effort that the skipping is captured in 2016 budget,’’ he said.
He therefore appealed to the striking doctors to call off the strike and engage in further dialogue.
Alabi also appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to work out means for making it possible that the skipping was approved in the 2016 budget.
The CMD, who decried the shortfall of the institution’s personnel budget, commended the consultants for their services and encourage them to ensure that patients are cared for.
He apologised to patients for the challenges experienced since the strike by resident doctors in the hospital and promised better service as soon as the strike was suspended.
Resident doctors in 42 out of 56 hospitals in the country are presently on strike to press home their demand on the implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale and other welfare issues. (NAN)