The ongoing warning strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has created a dire situation for patients in public hospitals across Nigeria. As doctors withdraw their services, patients grappling with chronic ailments are left with limited options, forcing them to seek alternative care from private practitioners or risk their lives. This article delves into the impact of the strike on healthcare delivery in various states, highlighting the plight of patients and the urgent need for resolution.
In Akwa Ibom State, patients with chronic illnesses are facing a critical dilemma. State and federal medical centers are unable to provide the necessary medical services due to the strike. As a result, patients are left with no choice but to turn to private healthcare professionals or risk their lives. Even minor health issues that could have been addressed in state government health facilities are now left unattended. The University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) has come to a standstill, with doctors complying fully with the strike, leaving patients in a state of despair.
Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable during this strike. One woman, Uduak, expressed her concerns as she contemplated returning to her community to seek assistance from a traditional birth attendant due to the lack of doctors available at UUTH. Patients with critical conditions, such as diabetes patients requiring dialysis, are also severely affected. With the doctors on strike, these patients are left without the crucial medical attention they desperately need.
In Nasarawa State, the absence of resident doctors at the state government-owned Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital has had a significant impact. Patients, including a nursing mother seeking medical attention for her newborn twins, are left disappointed and without the necessary care. The lack of doctors is causing distress and concern among patients and their families, who are urging the government to address the doctors’ demands.
Imo State is also grappling with the consequences of the strike. The Federal University Teaching Hospital (FUTH) in Owerri is overwhelmed by the influx of patients seeking medical care. With limited medical personnel available, patients lie on their beds, uncertain of when help will arrive. Nnamdi Uwakwe, a patient at FUTH, expressed his frustration at the lack of attention and appealed to the federal government for a swift resolution. The strike has prompted some families to transfer their loved ones to private clinics, where the cost of healthcare is significantly higher.
The ongoing NARD strike has created a crisis in the Nigerian healthcare system, with patients in public hospitals bearing the brunt of the consequences. From Akwa Ibom to Nasarawa and Imo States, patients are left without the vital medical services they urgently need. The government must address the concerns of the resident doctors promptly to prevent further deterioration of the healthcare delivery system. Patients should not have to choose between risking their lives or incurring exorbitant expenses in private clinics. A resolution is urgently needed to ensure the well-being of patients and the stability of the healthcare sector.