A critically ill patient is moved to the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) from a normal ward after emergency services resumed on Saturday. (Photo by Fadhili Akida)

Emergency medical doctors at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) and physicians on call resumed duties on Saturday, a move that showed their compassion to suffering patients.

A survey conducted by the ‘Sunday News’ on Saturday revealed that patients in critical condition were attended to at the main hospital at MNH but those who came for regular medical appointment at the main hospital and the Orthopaedic Institute did not see their doctors.

Medical services at the district hospitals of Ilala, Temeke and Mwananyamala continued as usual. However, the number of patients seeking medical attention increased dramatically.

“We (doctors) have to show sympathy to suffering patients. The grief felt when a suffering patient is abandoned must drive each one of us back to work as the government continues to resolve the stand-off.

“We are all human beings,” said Musa Wambura, the Medical-in-Charge of Amana Hospital. However, Wambura had a piece of advice: “The matter should be taken seriously. There should be a timely solution to the problem because the situation would worsen if the nurses join the medical doctors on the strike,” he said.

He made the observation with reference to demands put forward by the medical fraternity currently pushing for better remunerations which include extra-duty allowances, accommodation and better working conditions. At Mwananyamala district hospital, the Officer-in-Charge and Head of Nurses, Ms Angella Magesa, confirmed continued provision of medical services. She explained that the number of patients had increased tremendously for the last two days.

“We have received more patients in the last 72 hours despite the fact that they don’t want to reveal where they previously received medical attention. There is no doubt some of them have come from Muhimbili,” Magesa explained. Waiting benches and corridors at Mwananyamala hospital were well packed with patients, some standing and others sitting on the floor waiting for their turn to see doctors.

Long queues were seen in some of the private hospitals as well. At Hubert Kairuki Memorial Hospital for example, interviewed patients agreed to have shifted from other hospitals where services were not available. The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Blandina Nyoni, wished the impasse resolved for smooth resumption of medical services as the government in collaboration with medical doctors would work out a plausible solution.

She commended doctors who have shown compassion to the suffering patients adding that with assistance from higher authorities a common ground would be established. On Friday doctors on strike demanded to have an audience with Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda himself, instead of sending a delegation.

By JULIUS BWAHAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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