Members of the Nigeria Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners at the General Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, have commenced two days strike over an alleged assault on their colleague.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the state Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Ola Ahmed, said the doctors were forced to down tools due to the frequent threat to their lives.
“After an emergency congress, the doctors have unanimously agreed that no doctor will work in the hospital for 48 hours. We are tired of being a punching bag by the public,” he said.
Ahmed stated that a sergeant attached to the Police Mobile Force attacked and assaulted one of the doctors at the general hospital.
He explained that around 5pm on Sunday, the doctor was assaulted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology unit, by a police sergeant who brought his sick wife for treatment.
“The doctor conducted the necessary test and she was later discharged. The sergeant, however, returned to the hospital and attacked the doctor who examined his wife.
“The sergeant alleged that the doctor did not seek his consent before examining his wife and that in his culture, it is a taboo,” he said.
Ahmed pointed out that the woman was not a minor but an adult, adding that there was a colleague around before the test was conducted.
He observed that the doctor sustained an injury before he was rescued from the policeman.
He however noted that the accused person had been arrested and is presently detained by the police.
He added, “It is terrible that this is happening to us. Our workload is much, coupled with all the social issues, including naira and fuel scarcity.
“We come to work as early as 7am and go home late, and people we are trying to save are abusing and attacking doctors.
“We have used all necessary means to enlighten the public through jingles, banners and talk shows on warning the public to desist from assaulting doctors.
“Similar incident happened at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. If people are ready to take the law into their hands, we will not allow our doctors to die.”
Ahmed explained that they were not blaming the state government in any way, but merely safeguarding the lives of their members.
Reacting to the development, the Chief Medical Director of General Hospital, Ilorin, Dr Bola Abdulkadir, said management was aware of the incident and was doing all it could to de-escalate the situation.
Abdulkadir also confirmed that the state government was aware of the attack and had been doing all it could to ensure the safety of doctors.
“We appeal to them that the management and the state government are doing everything possible to prevent a recurrence.
“The consultants will continue to care for patients, so there will be skeletal services that will be rendered,” he assured.
The CMD commended the efforts and sacrifice of all health workers in ensuring they save the lives of people in the hospital.