The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Ogun State, on Tuesday announced that its doctors were embarking on a warning strike because of a patient, who assaulted a doctor on duty.

Dr Adekunle Jimoh, the president of the association, confirmed the development at the hospital in Abeokuta.

Jimoh, who complained of the frequent assault on health workers by patients, said it was becoming a menace in the health sector.

He said health workers were targeted at, beaten and lynched outside the hospital.

According to him “We, the doctors say this is unacceptable and we are not going to tolerate such acts any longer.

“A member of ours was assaulted yesterday (Monday) around 6:30pm by a patient’s relative in the course of the doctor trying to take care of a patient.

“We have decided to down tool for at least 24 hours, which started today to press home our demand.

“We should have said we should go on indefinite strike, but we also want to put other patients, who are not involved, into consideration,” he said. Jimoh said they were not going on strike on the usual request of doctors asking for more money, but to end the menace of violence against health workers, adding that it was unacceptable.

Jimoh, who narrated what transpired between the patient and the doctor, explained that a female patient who was putting on a flowing long Hijab entered the neonatal ward.

He said the doctor, Jelili Gbajumo, who was on duty, corrected her that she was not supposed to wear a flowing gown into the neonatal ward because it could sweep infection into the ward.

“The patient got angry and went to call her husband, who came with another relative, accosted the doctor and slapped him.

“The relative, who slapped the doctor, escaped before other doctors got there.

“No matter the level of provocation from the doctors, it does not give any patient the right to slap a doctor,” Jimoh said.

The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Ogun State chapter, Dr. Oladayo Ogunlaja, said that physical assault on doctors by patients was not the first time, adding that it must be stopped.

Ogunlaja said the 24-hour strike the doctors were embarking on, was to let the public know that doctors would not tolerate or accept such acts anymore.