Doctors Strike: Patients Increase In Private Hospitals

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The two weeks old resident doctor’s strike in River s State is fast having a toll on the public as private hospitals across the state are now overflowing with patients.

A survey conducted by TheTide on Sunday indicates that most private clinics within the metropolis are now filled with patients from public hospitals,  as  resident doctors refuse to return to theatre halls even after government pleas earlier this week. An official of a private hospital in Mile 1 Diobu area of the city informed The Tide on Sunday that only on Thursday the hospital admitted about 30 patients.

The source stated that the number had increased on Friday morning, as most of the patients who were rejected from government hospitals were also referred to other specialist hospitals.

The same scenario was recorded at Teme Clinic where Doctors without Borders operate. The in patient rooms of the hospital was filled to its capcity as at Friday evening. When The Tide on Sunday visited the State-owned Braithwaite Memorial Specialists Hospital (BMSH) only a handful of nurses and doctors, especially consultants were seen on duty. The Tide on Sunday gathered that the hospital only offers skeletal services from 7am to 12pm.  By 2pm on Friday the out-patient halls were virtually  empty unlike before .

An official of the hospital informed The Tide on Sunday that senior medical consultants in the hospital were still attending to patients, especially in-patients and emergencies.

It was also gathered that most of the patients, especially those with complicated cases, were referred to private clinics and with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Choba in the same strike, some patients are left with no alternatives but to pay huge bills to get medical attention from private doctors.

Speaking on the situation in a telephone chat with The Tide on Sunday, Chief Medical Director of BMSH Dr. Bernard Aprioku disclosed that the hospital is seriously hamstrung.

Dr. Aprioku said< “for now there is nothing we can do, we are only attending to some emergencies and besides, we don’t even have power”.

The BMSH Chief Medical Director said the only alternative left for the hospital is to only attend to few cases as it could with the handful of senior doctors, mainly consultants.