Hundreds of patients have been stranded in Nigerian hospitals as a result of an indefinite strike by doctors.
The strike follows an ultimatum issued by National Association of Resident Doctors to the federal government to improve wages and allowances of doctors.
Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the head of the association has hinted that they will lay down their tools if their demands are not met.
“The National Executive Council (NEC) has unanimously agreed that NARD should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on April 1, 2021,” he announced after a meeting of the association.
He said the doctors’ demands include settlement of salary arrears, review of hazard allowance to 50%, and payment of death-in-service insurance for all health workers who died from COVID-19 while on duty.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (Nard), which called the strike represents about 40% of Nigeria’s doctors.
It said members initially received a monthly hazard allowance of $12 (£9), but that those payments stopped after three months.
Nard said 17 doctors have died of Covid since the first case was diagnosed in Nigeria in March 2020.
The strike has left several patients unattended to at various hospitals.
“I was scheduled to see the doctor today at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital after undergoing a series of tests. I am afraid my condition could worsen with the strike,” a patient said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Olorunnimbe Mamora has announced that the federal government has released about $53 million for death-in-service insurance to health workers.