The recent sacking of over 16,000 resident doctors in federal health institutions by the Federal Government has stalled the delivery of medical services in most of the federal hospitals.
Patients, who spoke to punch correspondents at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, on Tuesday, complained that doctors had yet to resume work in the teaching hospitals.
One of the patients, who came to dress an injury he sustained, said instead of treating him, nurses at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital referred him to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, as there were no doctors on ground yet.
A nurse at the unit said that the workers were only offering skeletal services for now due to the absence of resident doctors.
“The senior doctors are very few, and we cannot take emergencies for now. That would be done when things are resolved,” she said.
A consultant at the hospital, Prof. Edamisam Temiye, said that even though senior doctors have been working, they could however not do much with the sacking of resident doctors. According to him, except the resident doctors resume, delivery of medical services will continue to be denied in tertiary hospitals.
He said resident doctors constitute about 70 per cent of the medical workforce in any teaching hospital and their absence, due to the sacking, would compromise health care delivery.
He, nevertheless, said that medical services should resume full work at the hospital by the end of this week.
The situation was also the same at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, on Tuesday, when our correspondent visited the hospital.
Only the consultants and intern doctors had resumed work. In a telephone interview with our correspondent, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Kwara State branch, Dr. Ayinka Abubakar, said that 300 doctors, out of the over 700 members of the union who are resident doctors, were yet to resume.
He said, “All the doctors in Kwara have resumed except about 300 resident doctors, whose appointments are still shaking based on the Federal Government’s directive. However, we got a court injunction on Monday restraining the chief medical officers from implementing the sack order. We hope we will still have a breakthrough and their normal services will resume. We have about 700 doctors in Kwara State.