For the fourth time since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic began, about 19,000 doctors throughout Nigeria are on strike. Staffing shortages have resulted at government-run hospitals and COVID-19 treatment facilities as a result of the strike. In addition, some of them have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that they have not been paid in months.
Hospitals in Nigeria are reporting that patients, some of whom are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, are being turned away because of a staff shortage.
Nigeria is now dealing with an avalanche of new cases that have been linked to the delta strain, prompting the latest strike.
The strike is the fourth by resident doctors since the pandemic began. The longest lasted ten days, with some patients left to languish in hospital beds without being diagnosed or receiving treatment.
The resident medical staff makes up the bulk of health care workers at government hospitals throughout Nigeria. They worry about their patients but place the blame on the federal government, saying it failed to honor an earlier agreement reached after the last strike in April.
Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s health minister, has said he is “committed” to getting resident doctors back to work, though he has said most of their demands are issues to be solved by state governments, not his ministry.
The Nigerian government has been in talks with the National Council of State Governments over a number of issues, including the case of medical staff working in the country.