The National Hospital Abuja, appeared deserted on Friday as wards, offices, hallways and other prime locations in the hospital were empty due to the ongoing strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).
Mr Tayo Haastrup, the Deputy Director, the Head of Information and Protocol of the hospital told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that in spite of the ongoing strike, doctors were still attending to patients.
”The hospital wards are almost empty because the nurses that are supposed to attend to patients are not available and we are not admitting patients.
”Although we are attending to emergencies,” Haastrup said.
He said the senior staff on the directorate cadre were still working because “they are not supposed to join the strike’’.
At the wards, Mrs Halima Ibrahim, who was taking care of her sister said doctors were attending to patients as expected and combining the functions of nurses.
“But no nurses are available to direct us on how to administer our drugs,’’ she said.
Ibrahim, however, advised the Federal Government to urgently tackle incessant strikes, especially in the health sector because “lives are involved’’.
Ms Rita Nzeli, another patient said she was surprised to see the hospital empty as she had no knowledge that any strike was going on.
She said that her intension was to make use of her National Health Insurance Scheme but there were no staff to attend to patients on the scheme.
” I don’t have any money with me to go to another hospital, I am so confused,” Nzeli said.
NAN reports that the health workers, under JOHESU embarked on a seven-day warning strike on Monday.
The union had earlier warned of an impending strike in protest of poor funding and infrastructural decay in the health sector, among other issues.(NAN)