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Pain, outrage as Nigerian doctors strike over pay

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PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP or licensors

Nigeria

As the rest of the world grapples with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Nigeria, hundreds of patients have been left unattended as doctors say there is no going back until their needs are met.

An indefinite strike by doctors since last Thursday has paralyzed medical services at public hospitals in Nigeria -- leaving hundreds of patients stranded.

Some of the patients say the government should do what is necessary so that the doctors can resume work fully.

“I advise the government to be serious with the doctors. I am here and I see how it is, it is not easy. Government should take the lives of its people very seriously,” said Nehemiah Josua, Patient.

However, scores of patients say the strike could aggravate their pains and health conditions as medics stopped working -- adding that they have to wait for hours to see an available doctor.

“Instead of the government to maintain and increase the facilities in the hospitals and pay the doctors to do their work, they prefer to go outside the country for treatment,” said Eze Kelvin, a patient.

“I think the position of doctors in this country is very important, so whatever they are demanding to improve their services towards patients, the government should meet such demands,” Margret Iyara, a patient said.

According to the Public Relation Officer, National Association of Resident Doctors, Dotun Osikoya it is unfortunate they have to go on strike during this critical period -- adding that they are open to dialogue with the authorities.

“What are we actually asking for? It is about our welfare, our training as resident doctors. Some of our members are being owed 2-3 months' salary in some federal institutions.

"We have in some states like Abia state Teaching Hospital, they are being owed 20 months’ salary, In Imo teaching Hospital, it's 5 months' salary. It's wrong because these people have families,” Osikoya added.

Despite risks associated with their profession, there have been numerous complaints of poor remuneration and welfare of health workers in Nigeria

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