More reasons have emerged why many more doctors in Nigeria are depressed, burnout, commit medical errors and have several mental health issues. President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Segun Olaopa, told The Guardian that most doctors in public hospitals are over-worked because there are not enough house officers and resident doctors in most of the teaching and general hospitals in the country.
Olaopa said most teaching hospitals, including the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), have not employed any doctor in the last two years to replace many of those that have left for greener pastures abroad.
He said the findings of recent studies showed that burnout has an adverse impact on professionalism, reduces the quality of care, increases the risk of medical errors, impairs patient satisfaction and encourages early retirement.
The surgeon said work overload was the major reason resident doctors and house officers at LUTH embarked on an indefinite strike as well as the fact that some of the doctors were being owed up to six months salaries.
He said that burnout is highly prevalent among resident doctors and the mental health of doctors is an issue of growing concern all over the world as it frequently interplays with their professional trainings and responsibilities.
When The Guardian visited LUTH yesterday, the consultants, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals were seen offering skeletal services to patients.
Meanwhile, patients and their relatives have called on the Federal Government to intervene in the indefinite strike by the resident doctors and house officers at LUTH. They made the appeal when The Guardian visited the hospital to monitor activities and compliance with the strike by members of the ARD.
The hospital was no longer admitting patients but was discharging some patients. However, the management of LUTH yesterday stated that all demands put forward by the association, comprising resident doctors and house officers, were baseless and untrue.
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of LUTH and Associate Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Dr. Olufemi Fasanmade, said the association’s present agitation started when it demanded the withdrawal of administrative queries given to three erring trainees and apology from the hospital management to the association among other things.
While Fasanmade said about 173 house officers were on LUTH payroll in June 2018, and a new batch being prepared to resume, with a batch of 250 new house officers admitted in October and December 2018, who will finish in September and November 2019, the ARD President, Dr. Kayode Makinde, said the management lied on the issue, saying that all the figures of the resident doctors and house officers are fabricated.
Meanwhile, patients and their relatives have called on the Federal Government to intervene in the indefinite strike by the resident doctors and house officers at LUTH.
They made the appeal when The Guardian visited the hospital to monitor activities and compliance with the strike by members of the ARD.
While some relatives of the patients said only student doctors were attending to their sick ones, others said senior doctors were attending to their sick relatives who needed emergency surgery.
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