… Govt Says Negotiation With Doctors Ongoing
Medical doctors in Lagos are continuing their 3-day warning strike which began, Monday, over the alleged disparity between their wages and that of medical doctors directly employed by the Federal government. However, this excludes doctors working in the state’s COVID-19 isolation centres.
The Lagos-based doctors, under the association of Medical Guild, kick-started the strike, following a 21-day ultimatum given to the state government on the issue.
They lamented non-approval of COVID-19 hazard allowances and inducement allowances Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) approved by the Federal Government to doctors.
They further alleged that their colleagues working in COVID-19 isolation centres were still being owed two months salary arrears.
Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo, said some of the doctors were also being unpredictably laid-off, without recourse to their welfares.
There was partial compliance with the strike at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) as doctors were rendering skeletal services, emergency cases were being taken care of and patients with the hospital’s cards were able to access care.
Further, there was partial compliance in some zonal health centres, such as the Orile Agege General Hospital, Abule-Egba, where this journalist also visited. Patients were being attended to in trickles and number of patients attended to were reduced.
The Medical Guild Chairman, also said that the strike was necessary because the government was unable to meet 70 per cent of the doctors’ demands.
He lamented that his colleagues were getting infected and re-infected daily without any intervention from the state.
He advocated that adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), prompt testing of health workers and insurance cover should be provided for the doctors who put their lives at risk daily to provide care for others.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has urged the striking doctors to suspend their strike.
In a statement, The Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho assured residents of the state that while negotiation was ongoing, services at all state-owned health facilities could still be accessed.
“It is pertinent to note that the state government expresses extreme disappointment that the Guild continued with their warning strike despite a series of engagements with the state government aimed at resolving some of the grievances raised. Many issues have already been resolved, while unresolved issues are still being deliberated upon,” the statement reads in part.
Omotosho said the state government was fixed on meeting the demands of the striking doctors.
He said, “The state government will continue to play its part in ensuring the battle over COVID-19 is won; we urge the Guild to continue to take full advantage of the dispute resolution processes provided by the state to resolve all issues bearing in mind that these are unusual times for the nation and the entire world.”
The Chairman, Medical Guild, Lagos, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo has also confirmed that negotiation between the Guild and the state government was ongoing.
“We had a meeting with the representatives of the state government on Sunday and today (Monday). There is also a meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday), in a bid to resolve our demands.”Follow us on social media