NARD strike: Patients leave public hospitals in kogi, flood private hospitals

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Many relations of patients on admission at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja have relocated such patients from the centre to private hospitals in the state as the indefinite strike by members of the National Association(NARD) entered the third day on Wednesday.

A correspondent of Duaglobalnews, who visited FMC on Wednesday, reports that many patients, especially those who some of officials of the hospital said had underlying ailments were seen moving out of the centre.

Conversely, many private hospitals have started receiving influx of patients cut up in the cobweb of NARD’ strike.

One of the owners of a private hospital in Lokoja, who did not want his identity and that of his hospital printed, told Duaglobalnews that his hospital had so far receive 20 patients, some with chronic ailment and those whose disease needed surgery.

However, some of the patients, who spoke with the online publication urged resident doctors and the Federal government to reach a compromise on the issue, in the interest of public health.

“We know that NARD members have reason to embark on an indefinite strike,but they should also factor in the health implication of their action to the public, Mal. Mahmud Musa, one the patients who headed to a private hospital in Lokoja said.

The online outfit recalls that members of NARD commenced nation-wide indefinite strike Monday night to drive home their demands from the Federal government.

NARD President Dr Aliyu Sokomba, who announced the strike in Abuja at press briefing, said the industrial action was taken at the virtual extra ordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NARD on Sunday.

He said that the virtual meeting was also held to review the 14-day ultimatum issued to government which elapsed two days ago.

Sokomba said that the association exempted doctors treating Coronavirus patients, in recognition of the intervention of Hon. Tanko Sanunu, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services, other stakeholders and a demonstration of NARD goodwill to the country.

The NARD boss appealed to members of the public to bear and understand with the association.

Sokomba itemised the demands of the association to include the provision of inadequate and appropriate personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers.

Other demands of the doctors concerned, according to him, are:“Universal implementation of medical residency training act in all federal and state hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadre, provision of funding of medical residency training in the 2021 appropriation bill.

“Immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance agreed with the government and healthcare workers three months ago.

“Stoppage and immediate refund of all illegal, unjust and callous cut in salaries of our members by Kaduna State and other state governments,” Sokomba said.

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