Air of despondency and apprehension hovered around patients and their relatives yesterday as the reality of indefinite strike announced by Enugu (Parklane) doctors began to sink.
At the Accident and Emergency section, sick patients with their relatives were seen seemingly hoping against hope. The already admitted ones were seen moving to private and other hospitals in Enugu as the medical officers joined their colleagues despite a memo by management stating that they are not members of the ARD.
We were made to understand that the Association had before now replied the management citing a copy of favourable judgement her sister association at Olabisi Olabanjo University Teaching Hospital(OOUTH) Abeokuta got against its Hospital management.
A stranded patient who was spoken to stated that the situation was regrettable and pleaded that government do all it can to appease the striking doctors, while also pleading with the latter to have mercy on the patients.
Vista.ng learnt that some doctors of the institution have left the hospital for Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries in search of better working conditions, and many more are going to be following suit.
At the GOPD clinic of the hospital, a consultant and a principal medical officer were seen on duty but lamented that they can not cope with the work as the patient load is much.
A nurse who pleaded not to be named said that it is going to be a very impossible task for the consultants to cope with the clinic as the bulk of the work force are on strike.
The wards were still a bit busy as the nurses still administered non intravenous medications.
It was learnt that the House Officers whom the hospital management was banking on to fill in for the striking doctors also joined their colleagues. Not even threats by the management could sway things to the contrary.
Further investigation showed that House Officers are members of ARD according to a letter (dated 18th July 2014 ) which was written and signed by the then Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, stating expressly that House officers are entitled to join any association of their choice.
By and large the strike is going to bite hard on Enugu people as ESUTH Parklane is usually the first choice of many down trodden because of it’s strategic location.
One hopes that both the state government and the striking doctors quickly resolve these lingering issues once and for all in the best interest of the people