Doctors working at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), under the auspices of the Resident Doctors Association, have begun a five-day warning strike.
The authority said that the measure came as a result of attacks on its members by patients’ relatives.
The most recent such attack was said to have occurred last week, when relatives of a deceased patient held a doctor hostage for two hours amid torture.
In a statement signed by the group’s president and secretary, Dr. Ndukwe Chinoye and Dr. Igbo Obiora, after an emergency general meeting, the group denounced the ongoing assaults, saying they had continued unchecked.
Part of the statement released by the group reads: “Resident Doctors Association, NAUTH, Nnewi, held an emergency public meeting on 24th January 2023, after its members suffered physical assault and a near-death experience. The meeting, which was attended by over 100 members, made the following observations .
“Congress has issued a complete five-day shutdown of clinical and emergency services, beginning at (6 a.m. Wednesday) January 25, 2023 and ending at (8 a.m. Monday) January 30, 2023.
Congress insists that the administration must ensure that the perpetrators of this despicable act are prosecuted as a deterrent to others in the future.
“The security structure of the hospital needs to be reformed and replaced with unarmed local vigilantes or civil defense activists.
“The administration urgently needs to hire more residents and medical staff to increase the workforce and improve service delivery.
“Management should enforce strict visitation time adherence, and no relative of the patient should be allowed into the ward outside of visiting time.”
The group states that on January 22, 2023, one of its members went to see a patient in the male surgical ward, where he met nurses who were resuscitating another patient through CPR.
“In an effort to save the patient, our members joined the resuscitation. Unfortunately, the patient passed away and the doctor was later brutally assaulted by the relatives of the deceased patient.
He suffered more than two hours of this torture and humiliation before the late intervention by the hospital security and administration.
“While the NAUTH Resident Medical Association Supreme Conference, Nnewi acknowledges the efforts made by the NAUTH management to condemn the incident and ensure that the attackers are arrested by the police, amidst other measures, however, we feel that more needs to be done in order to send a strong and clear message as a deterrent to all to ensure Not to repeat the attack on any doctor.
NAUTH doctors went on strike over the continued abuse by patients