Irked by the assaulted meted out on two members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta Stat by two women, members of the association on Wednesday threatened strike action.
The assault and battery, which occurred at about 10.30pm a week ago, immediately put a halt to the activities of the centre.
Efforts by the management of the centre to resolve the crisis that ensued thereafter have proved abortive as NARD members swiftly decided on work-to-rule.
The two doctors, who were said to be on call at the emergency unit of the hospital on the fateful night, had many patients to attend to while others had gone for their dinner.
But angered that the Senior Doctor left his duty post, believing ‘he went out to consult reference book', the two women who were unattended to reportedly picked offence.
The patients inquired about the whereabouts of the Senior Doctor whose explanation was allegedly hostile, a situation that provoked one of the female patients to attack him with multiple slaps.
The female patient who resides in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, thereafter attempted to manhandle the genitals of the Doctors.
His colleagues who had gone to eat were shocked to see the second female patient attempting to take the Senior Doctor’s photograph ostensibly to use it as exhibit against him.
The doctors went for the camera but their attempt to snatch it from the woman resulted into a brawl.
“It was at this point that one of the female patients who was furious slapped the doctor two times and was dragging him. When the other doctor came out, the woman also descended on him but the doctors did not retaliate,” an eyewitness said.
Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Leo Erhunmwunsee who spoke on the development on Wednesday, in Asaba said the management had already waded into the issue.
According to him “We have been meeting since Monday and we are dialoguing among ourselves to resolve the crisis because there is nothing that start de novo, something provokes something, you can’t just sit down and somebody will come and slap you.
“We are looking at it all so that if we are blaming the person who slapped, we will also be looking at what the person who was slapped did before the slap. We are appealing to them to be patient because strike is not the solution at the present situation,” he said.
Dr. Erhunmwunsee said that the second woman “is not in Asaba, she is based in Port Harcourt. She came to Asaba during that weekend for a wedding and she has since returned.”
He, however, regretted that the patient reacted negatively and then the doctors too reacted negatively, adding that two wrongs don’t make a right.
“What we expect is that the doctors should allow management to look into the matter which we have started and it is at the end of our e-xraying and analysing the situation, if they are not satisfied, then individuals are now free to do what they think is best for them. But management will do it the way we think it should be handled. You cannot force me to do it your own way.”