Kwara state medical practioners commence 2-day strike

Tunde Akanbi

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Resident doctors and consultants in the Kwara state general hospital, Ilorin, under the aegis of the Nigeria Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGMDP) on Monday commenced 48-hour strike action over alleged assault on one of their members by a Mobile Police sergeant.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state capital, the chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Dr. Abdulkadir Ahmed, after a congress of the medical doctors, said that the strike action, meant to call attention of the community to frequent assault on medical personnel, would commence at 8:00 am on Monday, February 27 and end on Wednesday, 8:00 am.
It was gathered that the mobile police officer had brought his wife for treatment in the general hospital and later came back to assault the doctor for examining his wife without his consent.
It was also gathered that the man was already in custody of the state Police command, Ilorin, after his arrest by a detachment of NSCDC in the general hospital.
The NMA chairman explained that the doctors’ action was not targeted at either the state government or management of the hospital, saying that it is  aimed to send a loud signal to the community and make the community take action to warn their wards.
“Our gathering here today is so painful to all of us. Just less than two months ago, one of our doctors was attacked at the UITH. The matter is still in court spending lots of resources and time to resolve the matter, it just happened again.
“On Sunday at about 5:00 pm, one of our members was attacked while doing his lawful duty at the obstetrics and gynecology unit of the general hospital, Ilorin. It was said that a man brought his wife at about 12:00 noon with a complaint that his wife was sick. Following necessary questioning and examination, treatment was administered and was discharged to go home. Only for the husband to come back later in the day to attack the doctor, claiming that the doctor did not get his consent before carrying out examination on his wife”.
The NMA chairman, who argued that the wife is an adult that could determine to agree to be examined without getting consent, added that a female chaperon was inside the room with the doctor where the woman was examined.
“The doctor did his lawful duty but he was rewarded with assault. Thank God for the presence of passersby and other staff who rescued the doctor. This is happening with brain drain situation among medical practitioners in the country, coupled with societal challenges being faced by Nigerians, including the doctors. For how long are we going to continue with this?”, he said rhetorically.
He commended management of the general hospital Ilorin and the state government, especially the state governor, among other stakeholders, on the proactive steps taken so far on the matter.
The NMA boss, who advised members of the public to channel their complaints to appropriate quarters whenever they have issues to address, said that people should avoid taking laws into their hands.
Reacting to the development, the Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, SP Ajayi Okasanmi said the police hierarchy   has commenced investigation into the matter.
Okasanmi disclosed that the State Commisioner of Police, Paul Odama has set up a committee to look into the matter and pleaded with the doctors to reconsider their stand in the interest of the suffering and the sick members of the public.

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