By Gami Tadanyigbe
Patients at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, have pleaded with members of staff under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to call off their ongoing strike which commenced on April 18.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents monitoring the strike at the hospital reports that medical services were on Monday paralysed at the Teaching Hospital as staff at the X-ray, laboratory and administrative departments were not seen on duty.
NAN reports that the nurses sections in different wards, pharmacy departments and cash offices were also under lock.
But some of the patients who spoke with NAN in the hospital appealed to the Federal Government to urgently look into the demands of the workers to ease the suffering of Nigerians.
They described the union’s action as worrisome and that it would only increase their hardships.
Mr Musa Ladan, a patient, appealed to JOHESU officials to call off the strike in the interest of the people, adding that the masses always suffer the consequences.
“I plead with the union to call off the ongoing strike and give room for dialogue in the interest of the people.
“The poor will always bear the burden as they cannot afford access to healthcare in private hospitals.
“There are so many ways of resolving disputes before you can embark on strike and shutting down hospitals because the masses will suffer,” he said.
Mrs Sarah Kaka, another patient, urged the union to consider the plight of the masses, who always suffer more during such actions in the health sector.
Kaka decried the poor attention by government to the nation’s health sector and welfare of health workers in the country.
She however called for greater attention to the health sector and workers, saying that they deserved priority attention by government.
“The health sector is one particular area that should receive prompt and adequate response because when the people are healthy, it will reflect on the nation’s economy.
“If healthcare providers are not properly taken care of, they will not be able to give the desired medical attention and care to patients,” she said.
Mr George Luka, another patient, said: “This action taken by JOHESU can only hamper our development as a country with a large population.
“I urge the government to look into the matter and provide lasting solution in the interest of the country especially the masses.”
But Mr Yahaya Sadiq, a member of the JOHESU union, Gwagwalada branch, said the union will not call off strike until their demands were met.
According to Sadiq, the union will not be intimidated by any form of threat, adding that it will sustain the strike until government do the needful.
However, some doctors in the hospital were seen attending to only patients with critical issues without folders, especially at the NHIS section.
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