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Doctors Solidarity Strike Illegal

22 May 2012

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Speaker House of Representative, Aminu Tambuwal

By Steve Dada

The House of Representatives Committee on Health yesterday described as unconstitutional the indefinite strike by doctors in the employment of the Federal Government in solidarity with their sacked Lagos State counterparts and appealed to them to go back to work immediately.

There were also strong indications last night that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter may have a rethink concerning the crisis.

The NMA, in the wake of the strike, had threatened to ground health services in the state, if the government fails to end the face off with its doctors, within a given period of time.

However, Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has decried the threats and intimidations being dished out by the disengaged striking Lagos doctors on the newly recruited doctors.

But Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, who led other members to an emergency meeting with Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) of the four Federal Government owned hospitals in Lagos, expressed worry over the crisis in the health sector.

“We are getting too many strikes in the health industry. It is important that for every action that we take, there is need to look at the legality and constitutionality of such actions. You do not use conflicts to resolve conflict.  Continuous dialogue is the best option,” he said.

The chairman expressed concern over the plights of the patients, particularly the masses, who according to him, do not have better means of achieving better alternative health care. “The question now is that we have patients who have been left unattended to and not being cared for and as this strike is going on should we say that the salary should be stopped and that if we resolve the issues salary will start running?” he said.

Addressing the journalists after the meeting, Elumelu expressed optimism that the outcome of the meeting will achieve progress as the doctors promised to call an emergency meeting for the benefit of all.

Reacting to a question, Elumelu said: “We are here in respect of the Federal Government employees, who are on solidarity strike. That informed our visit.”

He hinted further that, “during our deliberation, it was agreed that doctors agreed to embark on this solidarity strike at their own meeting and for them to call it off, they also need that emergency meeting to enable them discuss, review the reasons for embarking on the strike and be able to come up with a quick resolution. Now you will agree with me that they need that space before the close of business today and which they have agreed they will do.”

Chairman of NMA, Lagos Chapter, Dr Edamisan Temiye, in response to the meeting, said NMA had agreed to hold an emergency meeting soonest to review the situation on ground, assuring that in the main time, the doctors would continue to take care of the in-patients on admission.

Meanwhile, ACN’s Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, advised the sacked doctors to embrace dialogue and peace offered by Lagos State government position that it is still ready to listen to the sacked doctors and stop thinking they can be allowed to cripple the health sector in Lagos.

“We see the threat messages to the newly recruited doctors as a condemnable act that aims to completely paralysing health delivery in Lagos in the wake of the intransigence of the sacked doctors who decided to abandon their professional calling for personal comfort and other trivial benefits.

"We see this unprofessional conduct as demeaning of the status of doctors who should not be associated with anything that constitutes threat to lives and we condemn those behind this effort to scare away the newly recruited doctors from taking up the responsibilities the sacked doctors abandoned.

“While we condemn this resort to uncivilised self help by the sacked doctors, we urge them to go back to the negotiation table with the state government, which has declared that its doors are still open for further engagement with the sacked doctors.

“We urge them to put their acts together and signify intent to go back to work so as to allow for further talks with the government. We restate our position that medical doctors are life savers and that they undermine their professional callings by abandoning their professional duties in pursuit of added comfort,” the party stated.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured, Doctors, Strike

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  • What in heavens name do doctors want if we would all agree they are not the only ones who are professionals we have accountants etc but the choice of being wat u r comes wit sacrifice and deligence which doctors have not portrayed instead there actions have made them no different than uncivilized pple who have quickly forgotten the hippocritical oath and by right are liable for lives that are lost either due to negligence or malpractice. One of there demands was payment of 9000 naira teaching allowance to house offficers this I find very ludicrous, people who r their to learn and being paid to learn in addition to 173k they get montly. Let's not decive ourselves with sentiments the doctors are outrightly wrong. And were well handled by d lagos state govt.
    In the united states they claim to kpsw about there is notin like a statutory pay level which al doctors must receive but each person is payed as per the sate govt allocates.
    Doctorrs also quickly forget that health delivery is a joint effort that r only a part of the body but not the whole body.

    From: victor

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Shame to our leaders and more shame to the followers who have refused to grow.They killed teaching profession, killed police,useless nepa,university lectures are still struggling for their life.Now it is the medical profession; why should a responsible govt sign what it cant keep?demoting of workers for no reason is a crime .No aoth said that you shld not react when you are treated unjustly.A doctor ceases to be one when he is mentally imbalanced and thus no longer under oath.it is only when you are ok that you can treat someone. Demoting of these doctors in order to pay them have already place them into mental trauma.In order countries,doctors once they complain about issues,the responsible govt attend to it knowing the consequences of them leaving work.But in Nigeria, politicians do what they like knowing they have good followers who does not think.am in full support of the doctors to down tools till people start thinking and take the chalenges to make the govt responsible!

    From: Tony

    Posted: 2 years ago

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