Patients in Bauchi, especially those who turned out yesterday at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, to receive doctors attention, were left disappointed, as the doctors refused to resume for duty despite the directive of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to its members to resume work as from 8 a.m. yesterday.
A visit by our reporter to the Teaching Hospital yesterday morning, to confirm compliance with the NMA’s directive, revealed that many patients waited endlessly for doctors to arrive their duty post to no avail.
It was observed that only house officers and consultants were on ground attending to the many patients, who had thronged the hospital on hearing the news of the suspension of the 55-day strike embarked upon by doctors across the country.
At the maternity ward of the hospital, it was only nurses who were seen attending to pregnant women, many of whom were given fresh appointment to come back to see their doctors.
A senior doctor, who spoke to People’s Daily on condition of anonymity, expressed surprise over the refusal of the doctors to resume duty, saying that, “We had thought that by this morning, doctors will be on duty to start attending to pregnant women at the ante-natal clinic only for us to come here and discovered that they are yet to resume.”
A source in the hospital however said the doctors did not resume for work because they were yet to get an official letter from the national office of the NMA directing them to resume for work.
While speaking to newsmen, the Bauchi State chairman of NMA, Dr. Mohammed Dauda Yusuf, declared that doctors in the state had fully complied with the directive of the national body of the association and had since resumed for duty.
He, however, stated that doctors at ATBUTH were yet to call-off the strike because they had their local problem preventing them from resuming for work as directed by the NMA.
According to him, ATBUTH doctors had embarked upon a local strike on June 27, 2014, four days before the national body called for a national strike, submitting that their refusal to resume duty on Monday was because they were yet to resolve their differences with the hospital management.
Dr Yusuf informed that the ATBUTH management and the doctors were expected to meet on yesterday evening to resolve the issues on ground amicably, with a view to ensuring that doctors in the hospital resume for duty as soon as possible.
Similarly, in Kano doctors failed to resume in the federal health institutions after NMA suspended strike.
According to the chairman of the Kano state chapter of NMA, Dr Sharfaddeen Mashi, doctors at the federal health facilities remained at home just to show further solidarity to their counterparts resident doctors, who were yet to be called back by federal government.
Our reporter observed that doctors were not seen in the federal health institutions, that included Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Dala Orthopaedic Hospital.