Doctors at the University College Hospitals, Ibadan, are offering medical services to cushion the effect of the strike embarked upon by members of the Non-medical Health Workers and Professionals in the institution.
Dr Adefemi Afolabi, a Consultant Endocrine Surgeon at the UCH, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Ibadan.
Afolabi, who is also a former Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of UCH, commended his “Hippocratic siblings’’ for going all out to render services which JOHESU members abandoned due to their six weeks-old strike.
He said: “Thank you my Hippocratic siblings for salvaging our healthcare delivery services in Nigeria. That is the hallmark of true leadership.
“To our vulnerable patients, some of us, medical doctors and dentists feel for you, we are sharing your pains and agonies because we are also potential patients.
“He who feels it knows it. We cannot afford to fold our arms and allow Nigerian patients to suffer innocently because our assistants in the clinics and hospitals, JOHESU, have industrial disputes with the Federal Government.
“Our training and experience over the years give us the mileage to run, manage and administer our hospitals at all levels.
“We will continue to multitask and employ job sharing principle for other tasks including bed making, administration of injections, dressings of wounds, assistance at surgical operations, cleaning the floors, keeping toilets clean and dispensing drugs.”
According to Afolabi, laboratory physicians and their younger colleagues, the young focused resident doctors, Youth Corps doctors, dentists and house officers are all involved in this assignment.
He said that they are all alive to keeping their Hippocratic Oath of putting health of patients first.
He said that they would continue to do their best to keep the ship of healthcare delivery services afloat while the storms last.
Afolabi said: “The storm will also pass away like the previous ones. We the medical doctors and dentists are primed to offer the best standard care that this war period allows us to perform within the highest ethical considerations.
“We thank our leaders, the consultants for rising up to the occasion in support of the Nigerian patients and in support of our brothers who are in the eyes of the storm.
“We encourage Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health; Dr Chris Ngige; Dr Bukola Saraki; NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, and other government representatives to remain focused on a bigger picture to salvage the Nigerian health sector at a time like this.”
NAN recalls that the Joint Health Staff Union in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria embarked on a nation-wide indefinite strike on April 17.
On May 10, JOHESU members in state hospitals and local government health facilities decided to join their colleagues in teaching hospitals and federal medical centres in solidarity.
The industrial action is adversely affecting normal healthcare delivery in the country with medical facilities shut.
NAN also reports that because of this lingering strike, private hospitals, mission homes and traditional birth attendants have been recording a boom in patronage.
The repercussions of this strike on patients are also alarming as prevalence of human mortality has been on the increase, while patients are charged exorbitantly at private hospitals.
JOHESU is an amalgamation of five associations of health workers, including the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals and National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.
Others are: Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Tertiary Institutions, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria and Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutions and Associated Institutions.