Resident doctors at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo State, have embarked on a two-day warning strike over an assault on one of them by a patient’s son.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a medical officer at the Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital, was on Tuesday assaulted while carrying out his duties.
Security operatives of Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun in the state, had, however, reportedly arrested the man that assaulted the doctor.
NAN reports that the doctors, who staged peaceful protests on Wednesday in Akure, described the attack as barbaric and called on the state government to provide adequate security to prevent a re-occurrence.
The doctors were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as; “We are severely overworked.” “Stop attacking us”, “UNIMEDTH doctors now working in fear of attack”.
One of the doctors, Ibidapo Bolayemi, said the hospital was understaffed and urged the state government to employ more doctors.
According to her, more than 100 doctors have left the hospital, leaving less than 45 doctors with the burden to deliver effective healthcare.
“It is rather pathetic what happened to one of us yesterday, an injury to one is an injury to all.
“Yesterday was the turn of a doctor, tomorrow who will it be? It is high time the government and the hospital management do something.
“And at this time, we are being overworked. Initially, we are 150 doctors, but now we are barely 45, and you expect 45 doctors to perform very well?
“As a result of that we get tired, we get exhausted and we are being overwhelmed,” the doctor said.
Bolayemi also urged the government to provide more security to help prevent a future occurrence by empowering those on the ground.
Another doctor, who preferred anonymity, said they would be downing tools for 48 hours until the government respond to their demands.
“We are expressing our displeasure at the physical assault of one of our members by a patient relative.
“It is quite unfortunate that this is where we are now, the state of the institution is not what it used to be because we are short-staffed, we are not going to add any form of assault to the problems we are currently facing.
“We are calling on the government to employ more doctors to reduce the workload that is the genesis of these problems,” she said.
The doctor said they were demanding the prosecution of the man that assaulted the doctor and the deployment of more security personnel to man the hospital effectively, adding that they would not allow the issue to be swept under the carpet.