The Association of Resident Doctors and other health workers on Thursday embarked on a peaceful protest walk in Abuja to express their grievances over the stripping of one of their colleagues naked by a patient’s family members.
They also complained about the rising incidence of assaults and violence on its members.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters took a walk to the office of the FCT Minister over incessant attacks, assaults, and violence meted on medical doctors and other health workers by relatives of patients.
The protesters carried placards with several inscriptions, including, “We Care for You Why Beat Us’’, “Better Securities in our Hospitals’’, “Say No to Violence Against Health Workers”, and “Doctors and Health Workers deserve Better’’.
NAN reports that the doctors had on Wednesday embarked on a three-day warning strike across FCT general hospitals over recent assault and stripping naked of a female doctor by relatives of a deceased patient in Maitama District Hospital, FCT.
Addressing the protesters, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, appealed to the doctors to call off the strike as the authority was already addressing the issue, which will bring an end to all forms of assaults on all persons.
“I appeal that you call off the strike and just give us the benefit of doubt and see what will be done in the shortest time. I will come personally and talk to all hospitals in the FCT to know whatever challenges you are facing there.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding that you didn’t take laws into your hands and we assure you that the issue is receiving attention. Your demand is taken seriously and given the utmost attention.
“Violence is not acceptable whether on male or female at the FCT or anywhere else in the country,’’ she stressed.
The FCT Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Ekpe Philips, said, “We are pursuing through the National Health Act or through the bills, we will make sure that if there is violence against any health worker, there is a particular term of jail to serve for such persons.
“We are advocating that there should be an undertaking by the patients that the relatives would not show any violence against health worker in Nigerian hospitals again.”
Also, International President, Medical Women International Association, Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, decried the series of attacks meted on health workers, which she said was a threat to their life and profession.
On her part, FCT President, Medical Women Association, Dr Aisha Umar, stressed the need for relatives of patients to exercise decorum, rather than inflict injuries on medical workers discharging their duties.
The FCT President, ARD, Dr Roland Aigbovo, said the association would hold an emergency congress to address the issues on calling off the strike as appealed by the Federal Government.