6th July, 2010
The industrial action embarked upon by medical doctors in government-owned hospitals in Edo has resulted in patients being evacuated from the hospital in Auchi.
The doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday over refusal of the state government to implement the new salary structure for them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that only security personnel were seen within the premises of the government-owned Central Hospital, Auchi, with the gates all locked.
Patients on appointment were told by the security men at the gate to call back after the industrial action.
When asked what happened to patients on admission, the security man on duty replied saying, â€œOga I cannot tell you where they have been taken to, what I noticed was that many were taken out by their people between Thursday night and Saturday.
“As you can see, there is nobody in the whole compound.Â We are simply here to do our duty and nothing else. The zonal medical director came in this morning not to work but just to check around and went back home.”
While some patients who milled around the locked gate looked downcast at the turn of events, some commercial motorcyclists who worked around the hospital bemoaned the strike action.
“It is not only sad for the patients but also okada riders. I have been here for over two hours with no customer. It is not usually like this if doctors are on duty,â€ a cyclist said.
The cyclist who gave his name as Sule continued, “If government can come up with a law that will prevent doctors from going on strike just like the military and police, it will be a welcome development.
“We saw people who could afford it come to take their patients toÂ private hospitals, while the ones who could not took theirs home.
â€œWe just hope something will be done soon to discontinue the strike.â€