Doctors in the University College Hospital (UCH), who are supposed to protect the rest of the population from disease and help people recover have given as their reason for going on strike, their need to protect their own lives.
The doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors, UCH Ibadan chapter, also say that the strike action will help to promote the lives of their patients.
Dr Adeleke Adedapo, the Vice President of the association’s action was in compliance with the directive by the national body, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
Adedapo said the doctors were not unaware of the rising cases of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, but “there is never a good time to stage a strike’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NARD had on Sunday instructed its members to down tools over shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and poor remuneration for members as they battle the raging Coronavirus pandemic.
Adedapo told NAN that embarking on a strike as a last resort was unfortunate, saying “it was done in a bid to protect, not only the doctors, but also the patients’’.
According to him, we have joined the nationwide strike called by the national body of our association; we are only rendering services at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and attending to COVID-19 patients.
“We have not arrived at this decision recklessly, but we have carefully considered the positive and negative implications of going on a strike during this period.
“For us as healthcare workers, there is never a right or good time for us to embark on a strike.
“But sometimes you just have to take decisions, not only for your own safety, but also the lives of those you have sworn to save.
“It is a dilemma, should we continue to render services without adequate protection and have many of us contracting Coronavirus.
”What this means is that these doctors will be withdrawn from rendering healthcare services, and eventually there will be no doctors to treat the patients,’’ he said.
Adedapo quoted a former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, as saying “every good thing in the country’s health sector today is a result of previous strikes.
He said, “It is important to note that this statement is coming from a former Minister of Health who once threatened to sack all resident doctors for going on striking.”
Adedapo said that there was also a growing misconception among the patients that they were being infected with COVID-19 pandemic by doctors due to inadequate protective equipment.
“On the issue of the Federal Government’s threat to invoke the ‘no work no pay rule’ on striking resident doctors, this will not be the first time we will be facing this threat and this will not be the last.
“The Federal Government should know that it cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result,” he said.
A NAN visit to the out-patients clinics and emergency unit of the hospital, revealed that only skeletal services were being rendered due to the ongoing strike.
NAN also reports that as of time of this report, Nigeria has confirmed 17,735 Coronavirus cases, with 469 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).