Strike: Neuropsychiatric patients appeal to govts, resident doctors to reach a compromise

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Some patients in Enugu State have appealed to the Federal and state governments as well as resident doctors to reach a compromise and suspend ongoing nationwide doctors’ strike.

The patients at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday on the strike embarked by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

One of the patients at the male ward, Mr Onyekachi Nweke, urged the government and striking doctors to consider the special healthcare needs of patients at the neuropsychiatric hospital and suspend the strike.

Nweke, who is suffering depression, said that he was concerned of the relapse of his health as doctors were no longer there to attend to him and others.

“I am being attended by a consultant now but she has many people to attend to and some wards to go round each day.

“It takes some little while to really get her attention due to volume of work,’’ he said.

At the out-patient ward, Mr Chris Nwankwo, said that he had waited six hours before seeing the consultant owing to the strike action, which was negatively affecting the services at the hospital.

“It usually takes me not more than two hours to do my periodic checks but today I have stayed up to six hours.

“I appeal that the government and striking doctors should put the welfare and well-being of the patients first. They should shift grounds and call-off this strike,” Nwankwo said.

A parent to a patient at the hospital, Mrs Blessing Okoro, also said that it was not easy for her to manage her son, who is having a mental health challenge due to the strike.

Okoro said that before the strike, the young male doctors usually assisted her to ensure that her son went through his medical routine checks and take his medications.

“For the past two days now, it has not been easy for me and the nurses to calm him down and ensure he passes through his daily medical routines.

“The strike is negatively affecting us. I pray that those concerned will call the strike off,” he said.

NAN reports that NARD had called on its members to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike, beginning from Monday, Aug. 2.

The President of the association, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, said this on Saturday while briefing newsmen on the resolutions reached at its just-concluded 2021 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Umuahia.

Uyilawa said the strike became unavoidable after the expiration of 113 days ultimatum earlier issued to state and federal governments to address the issues of welfare, training and service delivery by resident doctors.