October 1, 2023

TNN Newspaper

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Panic In Bayelsa As Resident Doctors Plan To Cripple Public Hospitals

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John ODHE, Yenagoa



The plan by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to lead doctors in public health facilities on another round of industrial action if its lingering demands were not addressed, has instilled fears in many Nigerians, including Bayelsans.
Some residents who spoke to our correspondent at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, stated the negative implications of the doctors’ planned strike action and called on the federal government to intervene with a view to averting the looming industrial action.




Less than five months after calling off its 63 days industrial action, the National Association of Resident Doctors NARD is planning another strike to press home her unmet welfare demands from the federal government.
Speaking to TNN, president of the Association of Resident Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, Doctor Mbooh Romeo said they were ready for another round of industrial action because the federal government had continued to pay lip service to their demands national wide.


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He pointed out that the national body of NARD would have an elaborate meeting between January 24 and 28, 2023 where issues concerning the welfare of the association would be discussed before embarking on the nationwide strike if the government fails to listen to them.
“We have always paid the supreme sacrifice. A lot of doctors have died in the line of duty. So, compensation has to be paid to their families. During the COVID-19, a lot of doctors died, Lassa is there and our people are dying.




“There is also the issue of violence against doctors. The government should no longer pay lip service to these pertinent issues.
“The insincerity of government has been a very big problem when it comes to the health sector. We want government to show sincerity when they want handle issues that bother about the welfare of doctors and other health care workers,” Romeo added.


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Worried by the implications of the looming strike, Bayelsans are calling on the federal government to do the needful.
A Yenagoa resident, Mrs. Major Ayebaifie lamented that lack of care by the government had forced many doctors to leave the shores of Nigeria in search of greener pastures.
“Our doctors are not happy, that’s why they are leaving the country every day. Their demands are not being met. Government should come to their aid so that they can help society and help the ordinary people,” she said.





Another resident, Mr. Egba Wamneso, who said he was at the FMC to look after his sick brother, underscored the importance of medical doctors in saving lives, noting that anytime resident Doctors went on industrial action, the consequences had always been grave.
“Doctors are trying their best to save lives. So, if their needs are not attended to and it leeds them to go on strike, it will cause serious devastations to human lives,” Wamneso said, calling on the federal government to meet the demands of the health experts to avert avoidable loss of lives.

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It could be observed that Nigeria is currently suffering brain drain in the health sector as medical personnel are reportedly leaving the shores of the country in search of greener pastures.

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