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Mixed response to doctors` strike call

Written By Koka Albert on Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 1:41 AM

Dar hospitals most affected
Elsewhere response minimal
Some doctors, who are members of the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), march after finishing a meeting to discuss various issues including Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda`s stament. (Photo: Omar Fungo)Patients in some hospitals in the country started feeling the pinch of the doctors’ strike launched to press the government to respond their demands.
A survey by The Guardian in some hospitals saw patients who had gone for appointments with doctors returning home without being attended to.
At Temeke municipal hospital patients were stranded at the Outpatient Department not sure of getting services as most doctors stayed out of work.
Some decided to return home after being told that the doctors were on strike while others kept on waiting, hoping the situation would change.
Interns’ leader at Temeke hospital Elisha Osati when interviewed said that they were on strike and no services were being provided to patients.
At Amana Hospital some of the patients in the maternity ward were told by nurses to go to Lugalo hospital because the doctors were not attending the patients.
The Guardian observed a relative of an expectant mother desperately looking for a doctor to take care of her patient.
Another expectant mother identified as Zainab Ibrahim a resident of Vingunguti who was admitted at Amana hospital suffering from blood pressure was referred to Muhimbili hospital and when she had already boarded the ambulance she was told to disembark, and a relative sent to buy medicine for her.
At Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) some of the patients were found roaming outside the hospital for lack of services.
Others were seen in long queues at the reception desperately waiting to be attended to by the few doctors present.
“I have been here since morning but it seems there are no doctors to attend to the patients. I was told to come for limb checkup,” said Mary Mallya, a Buguruni resident.
She said that the government has always been very slow in dealing with simple matters that can be solved in a manner that it does not affect the public.
The MNH and MOI’s public information officers were not available to comment on the situation.

In Mbeya doctors supported their colleagues in Dar es Salaam.
The acting director for Mbeya Referral hospital Dr Omary Salehe said about 65 intern doctors didn’t report for duty yesterday.
He said only ten specialised doctors were providing services to the patients.
In Dodoma reports said doctors were performing their duties regardless of the reports of strike.
Reports from other parts of the country including KCMC hospital in Kilimanjaro region, Mount Meru hospital in Arusha, Songea’s referral hospital said all was well with doctors attending their patients as usual.

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