Patients Bemoan FMC Yenagoa Health Workers’ Strike | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Latest News

Patients Bemoan FMC Yenagoa Health Workers’ Strike

Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa
Posted: May 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Igoniko Oduma

Yenagoa – The indefinite strike action embarked upon by aggrieved health workers at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, is taking a toll on patients who access health services at the facility as they bemoan the impact of the action.

It was gathered on Wednesday that the action of the health workers has paralysed outpatient services and laboratory services, with physiotherapy, radiotherapy and records departments of the hospital shut down.

Only skeletal services were being rendered at the emergency section of the institution.

The health workers under the auspices of National Union of Allied Health Professionals, (NUAHP), FMC Yenagoa, had downed tools on May 11 to protest the shortfall in the payment of their salaries since January this year.

Some patients who spoke with Independent on Wednesday said that the action of the health workers had resulted in the sharp drop of services at the hospital.

Augustine Ayati, a patient, lamented that the strike was having a negative impact on public health as patients were bearing the brunt of the industrial action.

“It is unfortunate that we are the ones suffering from this strike; some of us cannot afford the exorbitant bills (charged) at the private hospitals. The management and staff do not feel our pains,” he said.

Tuburu Oyins, another patient, said that he decided to check whether the FMC health workers had resumed work following the suspension of the national strike by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

“I had thought that they would resume work here, but I was told that the strike that was called off concerns the hike in the price of petrol, and not the health workers.

“They should resolve this and let us have access to affordable health services. I cannot afford the exorbitant charges in a private hospital; it is only emergency cases that they are attending to,” Oyins said.

Also, Pamela Oki, yet another patient, said she was contemplating taking her eight-month-old baby to a private clinic.

“My baby is having fever and I cannot wait till they call off the strike; they should remember that life is involved and resolve their differences quickly. The only option is to see the possibility of going to a private clinic,” she said.

Oginike Lante, Chairman, NUAHP, FMC Yenagoa, had said they were compelled to commence the indefinite strike after the 28-day notice they issued the FMC management expired.

“We had given the statutory 21 days notice and gave an additional seven days making a total of 28 days. So, this strike is in compliance with the provisions of the labour laws.

“We are concerned about the effect on our patients, but we have exhausted all other options open to us.So far, the management has been unresponsive and not met our demands; so, we are still waiting for them,” he stated.

Mr Bernard Akpedi, Public Relations Officer at the FMC, Yenagoa, said that the management had appealed to the workers to return to work.

“We had appealed to them to be patient as the management was working to resolve the short payments, caused by budgetary shortfall. We got assurances that as from June, we shall be getting our full salaries and arrears.

“And if they have waited from January till date, it is only reasonable that they wait a little more,” Akpedi said.