We’ve lost 16 members nationwide, 321 receiving treatment, resident doctors in Bauchi lament, join industrial action
Members of the Bauchi State Chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have in line with the directives of the National Secretariat of the association joined the ongoing nationwide indefinite strike embarked upon by the members, on Monday, lamenting that so far, 16 of its members have died of COVID-19 infection while another 321 are undergoing treatment having tested positive across the country.
Those involved in the strike action are members of the two local chapters of the Association at the ATBUTH, Bauchi and the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Azare.
The ATBUTH branch chapter President, Dr Muhammad Kabir, told our correspondent in a telephone conversation that the strike action commenced at 8 am on Monday as directed by the national leadership of the association.
Muhammad Kabir further said that the association is not unmindful of the health situation the country at the moment particularly, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging the people pointing out however that it was because of the situation that Doctors who are not part of the COVID-19 pandemic fight were exempted from the industrial action.
He further said that: “We actually suspended the strike in June to give time for the government and our leaders to the interface for one month, then, if there is no headway, we resume and that is what we have done now. So, this is the continuation of the other strike.”
“We assured them that if after one month, nothing was done, we would resume our strike and that one month expired on 22nd of July and this is over six weeks since then,” he stated.
He added: “Let me tell you that as of today, 16 of our members have died of COVID-19 nationwide because they had no Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). And when they died, there was nothing for them, no insurance, nothing for them from the Government.”
Muhammad Kabir continued that, “And if we continue like this, tomorrow you will come to the hospital for malaria treatment and you will not see any Doctor because he has died of COVID-19, and there is nothing for his family and that is one of the things we are looking for, attention from the concerned authorities.”
The NARD Branch president added that “Even at that when we went on strike earlier, we asked our members who were at the Isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 to continue staying there, they would not join the strike, but others are joining the strike and it is because we are very mindful of the call we have, that was why we did that.”
He also stressed that “We want the health sector to change, we want it to be a better place, that is why we are fighting. It is not only for us but it is for everybody and we are mindful of COVID-19. As of today, we have a total of 321 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Resident Doctors across the country who are either mild, moderate of severe of the COVID-19, 68 have been treated, tested negative and discharged while others are still in isolation centres.”
The branch president then called on the federal government to fulfil its own part of the agreement because the deadline agreed with the government had elapsed and the next step is the strike action in order to press home the genuine demand of the members.
Muhammad Kabir said: “It was even the government that pleaded with us to give them one month when we embarked on the strike on 15th June and within one week of the strike, they pleaded with us to give them one month to sort things out.
resident doctors in Bauchi lament