The Chief Medical Director CMD of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital UBTH Prof Darlington Obaseki has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to embrace dialogue that would end the strike and save the lives of Nigerians.
Fruitful dialogue with the authorities, he said, would help in addressing the ongoing strike that has crippled medical services in most federal hospitals across the country.
He expressed the hope that only meaningful round table negotiations between stakeholders and the Federal government can address the incessant strike embarked by medical practitioners in the health sector.Lamenting the challenges posed by the ongoing strike, Obaseki said UBTH was providing skeletal services to cushion the effect of the strike on patients who are at the receiving end.
Obaseki explained that UBTH management was hopeful that the strike would not be prolonged in the interest of patients and also called on the healthcare stakeholders to embrace negotiations to ensure that the strike does not drag on for too long.
He added that medical services at the UBTH were practically crippled owing to the strike but assured that management has put in place alternative arrangement to ameliorate the suffering of patients who were already on admission before the strike began.
Obaseki said although medical doctors at UBTH were providing services, he added that priority attention was given to emergency services, with volunteers who have committed to providing medical services at the hospital.
Meanwhile, following the strike, no fewer than seven patients were yesterday confirmed dead at the Federal Medical Center in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.Confirming the incident at the weekend, a staff member and a family source of one of the deceased said he lost his brother on Saturday for lack of medical attention.
The Guardian learnt during a visit to the centre that only the doctors and the some senior members of staff were on duties, adding that the hospital was virtually empty due to the strike.
“We lost some patients due to lack of care from the medical workers. We want the Federal Government to meet the demands of the health workers who have been on strike in order to save lives,” he added.
Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Dr. Abdulhai Ibrahim, however, denied the report, saying that they usually refer some of the critical cases to the state owned hospital or private clinics, adding that they did some successful surgeries last week.
By Michael Egbejule (Benin City) and Ahmadu Baba Idris (Birnin Kebbi)
The Guardian News
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