The Nigerian Government Medical and Dental Association (NAGMDP) at Ilorin General Hospital has commenced two days strike over alleged assaults on colleagues. Dr Ola Ahmed, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), speaking on behalf of the association, said doctors are being forced to let go of their instruments because their lives are so often threatened.
“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 mobile police unit attacked and assaulted one of the doctors at the general hospital.
He explained that at around 5 pm on February 26, the doctor was assaulted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology by a police sergeant who brought his sick wife for treatment.
“The doctor conducted necessary tests and she was later discharged. The sergeant, however, came back 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. He further asserted that in his culture, it is a taboo”.
Ahmed pointed out that the woman was not a minor but an adult. He added that there was a chaperone around before the test was conducted.
It was observed that the doctor sustained an injury before he was rescued by a police officer.
He however noted that the accused person had been arrested and is presently detained by the Police.
“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 7 a.m 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 in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH). If people are ready to take the law into their hands, we will not allow our doctors to die,” he said.
Ahmed explained that they are not blaming the state government in any way, but merely safeguarding the lives of their members.
Reacting to the development, Dr Bola Abdulkadir, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of General Hospital, Ilorin, said that management was aware of the incident and is doing all it can to de-escalate the situation.
Abdulkadir also confirmed that the state government was aware of the attack and is doing all it can to ensure the safety of doctors.
“We appeal to them that the management and the state government is doing everything possible to prevent such a situation again.
“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.