Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital,LUTH, chapter, Idi-Araba, Lagos, yesterday, embarked on a three-day warning strike in compliance with the directive from the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD.
President of the LUTH chapter of the association, Dr. Emeka Ugwu, confirmed the strike in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos.
Ugwu said doctors at the hospital had complied with the directive, noting that only few members were operating skeletal services at the accident and emergency unit.
According to him, the strike was to address the lapses on the side of government to improve healthcare delivery in the country.
Ugwu, however, appealed to Nigerians to bear with the doctors and join them in fighting the just cause.
He said that the consultants were attending to the patients since they were not on strike, saying “There has been 21-day ultimatum before this strike. So, what the association is requesting, budgetary provision are for training of specialists in Nigeria, funding for residency training in Nigeria, among others.
“We appreciate the effort of the current Minister of Health for including some funds in this year’s budget for training, but it is grossly insufficient.
“So, in LUTH because we are part of the national body, we have joined the strike, but we are providing services for patients that come to the accident and emergency department so that we can prevent people from dying because of this unfortunate three-day warning strike.
“We are not running clinics, we are not doing the non-emergency services; the consultants are not on strike. ‘So, we believe that Nigerian people should also help us to prevail upon the government to make sure that our hospitals are standardised and then the training of specialists in Nigeria should be comparable with what is obtainable all over the world.
“But, we want to appeal to Nigerians to bear with us and to know that we have their interests at heart.”
NARD National President, Dr. Ismail Lawal, had about two weeks ago during a news conference at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu warned that the resident doctors across the country might embark on strike any moment after the 21-day ultimatum expired.
Expressing dismay at the inadequate funding of the residency training programme in the 2013 budget, Lawal had also said the union had given enough opportunity to the government to address the lapses.
Dr Osahon Enabulele, National President, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, had on Monday also called on the Federal Government to prepare a supplementary budget that would cater for the training of resident doctors nation-wide.