The ongoing industrial action by resident doctors has paralysed activities at the Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa, leaving patients lamenting as other unions threatened to join the strike. The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had, on Nov. 15, commenced an indefinite strike to protest non-payment of salary for past two months. It was also gathered that the hospital also owed its workforce a backlog of 52 per cent short payment arrears for four months. A reporter who visited the hospital on Sunday reports that patients were being turned back by nurses and other health professionals in the hospital who were yet to join the strike.
A patient Mr Bozimor Oduku, who said he was abruptly discharged, expressed sadness and frustration over the strike. He said that most mass cannot afford exorbitant medical bills at any private hospital in Yenagoa. “This strike is taking place at a time of economic hardship; before coming here for treatment I had visited many private hospitals and I could not pay. “One of them advised me to come here, and the fees are very affordable, except for the high cost of drugs due to the foreign exchange problems. “Now that I came here for succour, they have come to ask us to pack and go home, where do I go from here?”