The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) is providing only skeletal services due to the ongoing nationwide strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and challenge of Boko Haram.
Bashir Tahir, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Maiduguri.
Mr Tahir said it would be disastrous to close down the hospital because of strike and the challenges of the insurgency in the state.
He said about 300 doctors were working in all departments of the hospital to provide some services to patients and clients.
He listed some of the departments to include kidney centre, accident and emergency, surgical, operation theatre, ultra sound centre and the radiology.
“As we are aware the Joint Health Sector Workers are on strike. It has some effect on the running of the hospital but we are still able to render services particularly emergency services to our people.
“You can attest to that if you go round. When you go to accident and emergency department, you will see patients there. Go to paediatric and medical units you will see patients being attended to.
“We are also conducting labour, collecting data and doing other examinations.
“So we are running services but not full. It is not possible to have full services but we are doing our best.
“Our laboratories are functioning because we have doctors in the laboratories and they are doing their best, particularly the mythology lab, they are doing all necessary tests that were supposed to be done.
“So also if you go to micro-biology, you will find some doctors carrying out some investigations and also chemical pathology.
“Also when you go to the kidney centre, you will find everybody onboard including some of the striking workers, nurses and portal providing services there.
“They are coming because they are patriotic and if we close the kidney centre a lot of people will die.
“Sometimes we receive patients with various degrees of injuries due to bomb blasts and other incidents, and we cannot afford allow anybody to die.
“It was in view of this that we pleaded with the unions and so far, they are really cooperating with the hospital management.
“Well there must be challenges, as you know our doctors are now doing what the nurses and other health personnel are doing. So they have been quite supportive,” he said.
A NAN correspondent who went round the hospital confirmed that the services were being provided at the surgical ward, operation theatre, medical ward, radiology department, accident and emergency unit, ultra sound and kidney centres.
Abdulkarim Yahaya, one of the patients at the Accident and Emergency Ward, told NAN that doctors have been attending to them.
Mr Yahaya, who suffered injuries as a result of accident, said the doctors have been coming to check him and providing him with all the necessary assistance.
Usman Chiroma, another patient at the male ward, commended the hospital for attending to patients despite the strike.
Chiroma Bukar, the father of the patient, said the resident doctors always come around to check his son.
“They always come around to check my son and he is recuperating. His health has improved compared to when we came,” he said.
Binta Isa, a patient at the kidney centre, said the doctors, nurses and portal have been very supportive.
“I will soon go in for dialysis, they said. But we have been receiving attention from everyone,’’ she said.
Reacting, Umar Abdulkadir, UNIMAID Chairman of JOHESU, said it was supporting the hospital management because of the insurgency.
Mr Umar said: “After due consultation with the national union, we decided to allow the management to continue providing services with support of some of our members.
“Some of our staff are still working in the hospital despite the strike,’’ he said. (NAN)