The Association of Resident Doctors of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Ogun State, on Tuesday announced that its doctors were embarking on a warning strike because of a patient, who assaulted a doctor on duty.
Dr Adekunle Jimoh, the president of the association, told newsmen on Tuesday at the hospital in Abeokuta.
Jimoh, who complained of the frequent assault on health workers by patients, said it was becoming a menace in the health sector.
He said health workers were targeted, beaten and lynched outside the hospital, adding that the menace was now being experienced in the hospital.
“We, the doctors say this is unacceptable and we are not going to tolerate such acts any longer.
“A member of ours was assaulted yesterday around 6.30 p.m by a patient’s relative in the course of the doctor trying to take care of a patient.
“Because of that, we have decided to down tool for at least 24 hours, which started today to press home our demand.
“We would have said we are going on indefinite strike but we also want to put other patients who are not involved into consideration,” he said.
Jimoh noted that they were not going on strike on the usual request of doctors asking for more money but to end the menace of violence against health workers, saying it is unacceptable.
Jimoh, who narrated what transpired between the patient and the doctor, explained that a female patient who was putting on a flowing long Hijab entered the neonatal ward.
He said the doctor, Jelili Gbajumo, who was on duty corrected her that she was not supposed to wear a flowing gown into the neonatal ward because it could sweep infection into the ward.
“The patient got angry and went to call her husband, who came with another relative, accosted the doctor and slapped him.
“The relative who slapped the doctor escaped before other doctors got there.
“No matter the level of provocation from the doctors, it does not give any patient the right to slap a doctor,” Jimoh said.
Dr Oladayo Ogunlaja, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Ogun Chapter, said that physical assault on doctors by patients was not the first time, adding that it must be stopped.
Ogunlaja said the 24-hour strike the doctors were embarking on, was to let the public know that doctors would not tolerate or accept such acts anymore.
“If the assault on the doctor had resulted to his death or if the patient was with a knife or gun, what are we going to tell the family of the doctor who is trying to save a life?
“We are trying to save lives but the lives of doctors are in danger, all our members working in facilities must be protected.
“We have informed the police and we will go to any length for the person to be apprehended, which would serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
Ogunlaja, however, said the strike would be reviewed if the man was not apprehended after six hours.