By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto – The Resident Doctors, Medical Consultants, Nurses and other health workers at the Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) are managing in spite of the ongoing strike by doctors.
The UDUTH Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mr Bello Tijjani-Sada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that the hospital had many consultants and other senior medical officials that are attending to patients.
NAN correspondent, who visited the hospital on Saturday, reports that officials of the hospital were rendering their distinctive services to the patients.
Tijjani-Sada said the situation was not bad in the hospital as patients were being treated, noting that only the resident doctors services were withdrawn due to the ongoing strike.
He said there was no presence of any voluntarily group to assist, adding that health services were going on smoothly with minimal strike effects.
Speaking to NAN on the situation, the President of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) UDUTH branch, Dr Abdullahi Sakwato-Shehu, urged the Federal Government to be sincere on their demands.
Sakwato-Shehu urged the government to respect agreement reached with the association.
According to him, the branch awaits directives from the national body to resume duty or continue with the industrial action.
NARD president said government failed to pay its members backlog of salary arrears, which it promised to effect within two days.
He added that it also failed to address issues of pension, integrated pay roll systems and other welfare issues.
“The association scheduled meeting on Friday and discussed Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MTS) and the next steps to be taken in order to call off the strike but to our dismay, we are yet to receive anything.’’
He expressed optimism that when government fulfilled its part of the agreement, members would call-off the strike and resumed work accordingly.
Some patient relatives, Malama Salima Muktar, Malam Garba Haruna and Abdullahi Angode respectively have appealed to the Federal Government to accede to the demands of the resident doctors to enable them call off the strike.
“Federal Government should address doctors’ demands in order to ensure smooth health care delivery in the country because not everybody could afford private hospitals or specialist attention outside government facilities,’’ they said.
However, NAN observed that more than half of the patient-beds in men medical and surgical wards were vacant. (NAN)