By Maureen Ojinaka
The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) strike has paralysed health services at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH Ituku- Ozalla near Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation, observed that some wards in the hospital were without patients as many of them were alleged to have been moved to private hospitals for medical attention.
The Head Public Relations Officer (PRO) of UNTH, Mr Cyril Keleze, told NAN that the health workers’ strike had crippled activities in the hospital except for essential services.
Kekeze said that the doctors were in the hospital to attend to patients since the nurses were on strike.
He said that the JOHESU strike was a warning strike, which would end on Sunday mid-night as all health workers were expected to resume work on Sept. 21.
Some of the patients, who were still on admission, said they came from other states and could not easily vacate the hospital to private hospitals due to financial difficulties.
Mrs Chidimma Okpara, whose mother had been on admission, said it was difficult for her to raise the money she spent in bringing her mother to UNTH as she could not take her to any other hospital rather would remain in UNTH till the strike was over.
“We came from Imo, it was not easy for me financially to bring my mother here, so talking about going to another hospital is out of my plan,” Okpara lamented.
Mr Kalu Ukoha, a patient said he believed that the strike would soon be over soon, adding that going to a private hospital would be a waste of money.
A staff of the Accounts Department in the hospital, Mrs Nneka Dim said the strike had affected health services, research and training in UNTH, adding that onlydoctors were on duty. (NAN)