Doctors in Sierra Leone's public hospitals were on strike on Wednesday to protest against low wages and poor working conditions, and nurses said they may follow suit.
At Freetown's Connaught, the country's biggest hospital, some wards were nearly empty and at least a dozen people were sitting on the floor at the hospital entrance waiting to be seen, a Reuters witness said.
Sierra Leone's Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) said doctors stopped going to work on Tuesday and were ready to continue their protest indefinitely.
"Can you imagine watching a patient die because of a shortage in the hospital's oxygen supply?" said Mamadu Baldeh, SLMDA secretary general. "A doctor cannot be expected to save lives without the proper tools."
Nurses at Connaught Hospital said they would join the strike on Friday if it was not resolved by then.
Health Minister Alpha Wuri did not comment on SLMDA's demands but said he expected a resolution in the coming days.
(With inputs from agencies.)