Association of Resident Doctors of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State on Wednesday started a five-day warning strike over persistent assault of its members.
The body which has shut down medical services in the institution, said the strike was with immediate effect.
In a communique signed by its President, Dr Ndukwe Chinwe and General Secretary, Dr Egbue Obiora, after its emergency general meeting, the body said the action followed physical assaults and near-death encounter of its members by patients’ family members.
It called on management to ensure prosecution of the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.
The communique reads in part, “The Association of Resident Doctors, NAUTH, Nnewi, had an emergency general meeting on January 24, 2023, following the physical assault and near-death experience of its member. The meeting which had over 100 members present, made the following observations:
“That on January 22, 2023, our member (internal medicine resident) went to review his patient at the male surgical ward, where he met nurses who were resuscitating another patient through CPR.
“In a bid to save the patient, our member joined in the resuscitation. Unfortunately, the patient died and the doctor was subsequently brutally assaulted by the deceased patient’s relatives.
“He endured over two hours of this torture and humiliation before the late intervention of the hospital security outfit and Management.
“While the Supreme Congress of Association of Resident doctors NAUTH, Nnewi acknowledges the efforts of NAUTH management to condemn the incident and ensure that the assailants were arrested by the police, amidst other measures, we, however, feel that more needs to be done to send a strong and clear message as a deterrent to all to ensure that assault on any doctor does not happen again.
“We, therefore, resolved as follows: A five-day total shutdown of clinical and emergency services has been issued by Congress, commencing from (6am Wednesday) January 25, 2023 and ends on (8am Monday) 30th January 2023.
“The Congress insists that Management should ensure prosecution of the culprits involved in this dastardly act so as to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.
“The security architecture of the hospital needs to be overhauled and replaced with able bodied unarmed local vigilante or civil defense operatives.
“Management as a matter of urgency needs to recruit more resident doctors and medical officers so as to increase manpower and improve service delivery.
“Management should enforce strict adherence to visiting time, and no patient relative should be allowed in the ward outside of the visiting time.
“The resolutions listed above will be reviewed at the next Ordinary General Meeting in the next one (1) month and Congress will decide on the way forward.
“We urge Management to promptly attend to our resolutions as listed above in the next one month to avert any further industrial action.”