Dr Hassan Ikrama, Chief Medical Director (CMD), of Dalharu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, has appealed to striking health workers to return to work in the interest of patients.
Ikrama, who made the appeal while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia, said that the hospital had additional responsibility now that the facility had COVID-19 patients on admission.
He said that although grievances of the workers for COVID-19 hazard allowances were being discussed with the government, the management was making efforts to ensure that patients did not suffer unduly because of the strike.
“The state government has so far offered to pay 40 per cent as against the 50 per cent the Federal Government is paying as hazard allowances.
“Negotiation is still ongoing and I believe that with the intervention of Gov. Abdullahi Sule, the matter will soon be resolved,” the CMD said.
He further said that at the moment, the management had taken measures to ensure that patients got adequate attention.
“The isolation centres and emergency units were being manned by the consultants and other nurses on casual appointments while we are also providing skeletal services in other sections of the hospital,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that resident doctors and other health workers at DASH on Tuesday embarked on a seven-day warning strike to demand the adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and improved welfare.
NAN reports that the striking health workers include the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) among others.
Mr Alizi Maga, Chairman of NANNM at DASH who spoke on behalf of the various unions told newsmen in Lafia that the strike became necessary following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the state government.
Maga said that their demands included the provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), implementation of COVID-19 hazard allowances as well as an insurance scheme for members fighting the pandemic.
NAN reports that as of May 10, the state had 113 confirmed cases of COVID-19.