Strike: Tears as Pregnant Woman Dies Hours After Waiting for Doctors


A middle-aged woman has reportedly lost her life in Nasarawa State due to a distressing development. According to Vanguard, the woman’s death was a result of the absence of doctors who could attend to her.


This occurred during a five-day warning strike initiated by resident doctors at the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital, which is owned by the state government in Lafia.


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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Nasarawa State began the strike as a warning after Governor Abdullahi Sule failed to address welfare concerns raised by the doctors within the three-week ultimatum period. The pregnant woman, whose identity was not immediately available, was scheduled for a cesarean section on Wednesday but was left unattended due to the ongoing strike.

It is worth noting that the resident doctors had previously issued a three-week ultimatum on June 13, demanding that the state government address welfare issues affecting their members.


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Consequently, relatives and friends have started transferring their loved ones to other medical facilities following the indefinite strike by the resident doctors in the state.

Dr. Peter Attah, the Chairman of NMA in the state, explained that the decision to go on strike was made during an emergency meeting of the association in Lafia on Tuesday. He expressed disappointment with the lack of serious commitment from the government, despite two meetings with a delegation led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe.


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Dr. Attah stated that the strike action would affect all 19 state government healthcare facilities from 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5, until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 10. If the government fails to address their demands by Monday, July 10, the NMA will convene and determine the next course of action.

However, Dr. Attah mentioned that doctors at the Federal Medical Center would continue providing medical services as the association prioritizes the welfare of the healthcare sector. Nevertheless, if the government remains unresponsive, they may request their colleagues in the Federal Medical Center and private facilities to join the strike.

Dr. Attah further revealed that the state government has shown insensitivity toward their demands, leading to 88 medical doctors leaving their positions in the state in 2023 alone due to inadequate welfare packages. Some of the demands made by the doctors include the implementation of promotions and annual salary increments for doctors, the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage with consequential adjustments, the implementation of the reviewed hazard allowance circular and payment of 19 months arrears, high taxation burdens, and insufficient manpower resulting in excessive workloads.

He highlighted that 25 doctors who were employed in 2014 at Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia and the Hospital Management Board have not been promoted for nine years. The scarcity of doctors has put immense pressure on the few who have chosen to remain, leading to a preference for working in rural areas rather than urban facilities. As a result, the 19 general hospitals in the state have only 33 doctors, which is significantly inadequate by any standard.

The shortage of doctors in Nasarawa State has created a severe strain on the healthcare system. With only 33 doctors available across the 19 general hospitals, patients are facing increased difficulties in receiving timely and adequate medical attention.


Dr. Attah emphasized that the issues raised by the striking doctors are crucial for the well-being of both medical professionals and patients. The non-implementation of promotions and salary increments for over nine years has created a sense of dissatisfaction and demotivation among the doctors. Furthermore, the failure to implement the N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustments has further compounded their financial challenges.

Another pressing concern is the non-implementation of the reviewed hazard allowance circular and the accumulated 19 months of arrears. Medical professionals put their lives at risk daily, especially during the ongoing pandemic, and the lack of appropriate compensation and recognition for their efforts is a significant source of discontent.


The burden of taxation was also highlighted as a prominent issue. The doctors argue that the high taxation rates significantly reduce their take-home pay and hamper their ability to meet their financial obligations. Coupled with inadequate manpower and excessive workloads, these challenges have driven many doctors to seek opportunities elsewhere, contributing to the overall shortage of healthcare professionals in the state.

Dr. Attah’s plea to the government is to address these concerns promptly and meaningfully. The strike action by the resident doctors serves as a clear indication that their demands have reached a critical point. The government’s failure to respond adequately to these issues not only jeopardizes the well-being of doctors but also puts the lives of patients at risk.

The situation in Nasarawa State underscores the need for comprehensive reforms and investments in the healthcare system. The provision of adequate resources, improved working conditions, and fair compensation for medical professionals are vital to attract and retain skilled doctors. Additionally, a robust healthcare infrastructure with sufficient personnel is essential to ensure quality healthcare services for the population.


As the strike continues, the state government faces mounting pressure to engage in constructive dialogue and find a resolution that addresses the concerns raised by the doctors. The ultimate goal should be a sustainable and equitable healthcare system that prioritizes the welfare of both medical professionals and patients, ensuring that tragedies like the untimely death of the middle-aged woman are prevented in the future.



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