Patients and their relatives have decried the 10-day-old strike embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, which has crippled health care services at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

Total compliance with the strike by the doctors, LAUTECH chapter, has resulted in the discharge of all critically ill patients from the various wards of the hospital.

The discharge of patients was done because the striking ARD members formed two-thirds of the total number of doctors working in the tertiary hospital.

All the wards in the hospital were virtually empty but for a few patients, whose conditions were not critical and were being attended to by other medical staff such as nurses, physiotherapists, lab technologists, among others.

A relative of an auto accident victim, Mrs. Folakemi Aderogba, who spoke with our correspondent in LAUTECH, on Sunday, urged the government to accede to the request of the striking doctors.

She said, 'LAUTECH is a tertiary hospital with a large personnel for specialised medical knowledge, many patients cannot get the services rendered by LAUTECH in other hospitals in the state.

'Patients are being made to bear the brunt of the crisis between the government and doctors and this is not fair. It's irresponsibility on the part of the government to leave patients to die and suffer. Government should live up to its responsibility by working in the interest of the masses.'

Another relative, Miss Idia Adisa, said she came to the hospital to ascertain whether or not the strike had been called off, adding that she had to take home her younger brother, who had a thigh fracture, when the strike began.

Some patients, who chose to talk on the condition of anonymity, said they had not been attended to by doctors since the strike began.

Public Relations Officer, NARDN, Dr. Tokunbo Olajumoke, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the association went on strike in protest of the non-implementation of the consolidated salary structure by the Federal Government.

Olajumoke, who is also the President, Association of Resident Doctors, LAUTECH chapter, added that the inability of the Federal Government to fund residency training was another reason for the strike.