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Doctors Strike Cripples Health Care Delivery at FMCs



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By Amos Igbebe

The ongoing nationwide strike of The Association of Resident Doctors has cripples health care service in federal government health institutions including the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

When 247ureports visited FMC Asaba, only ten pregnant mothers who came for registration were given tag to see few doctors who were mainly consultants attending to patients.

At the Out Patients Department (OPD), only a limited number of patients were also given tags to see doctors as others were turned back to come the next day.

Patients were only attended to on first come, first serve basis and once they get to the required number of patients agreed upon to be seen for a day, others would be turned back.

Speaking with 247Ureports, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA), Dr. Osifo Patrick, said resident doctors nationwide embarked on seven days warning strike from June 5 to 15 in compliance with directive of the national body of the Association to protest non-implementation of the Federal Government’s circular on Skipping of doctors by the Chief executives of federal health institutions.

He said, “at present about 15 federal health institutions are on strike which include: The university college hospital (UCH, Ibadan), university of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), FMC Keffi, FMC Owo, FMC Iddo-ekiti, FMC Owerri.

“We hope that in the coming days, there will be meeting between the association and the federal government’s negotiating team to find lasting solution to the issue.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has scheduled an emergency delegates meeting holding in Abuja on the 20th of June 2015.The main agenda for the meeting is the skipping of doctors”.

Explaining further, one of the residents doctors in one of the 15 affected hospitals said that in the health sector, grade level 10 is skipped as it is normal with civil services rule, where grade level 11 is skipped.

“House officer doctors are employed on level 9 after which they go for one year national youth’s service corps.  The doctors are later employed with the entry point of grade level 10.

“So what we resident doctors are asking is that the entry point should now be grade level 11 hence there is already existing skipping of grade level 10 in the health sector”.

He noted that federal government implemented the skipping of grade level 10 for none doctors in the health sector after Joint Health Workers Union took them to court.

He revealed that federal government had agreed to start the implementation of the skipping of grade level 10 for doctors with effect from January 2015 but till date, has not.

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