20th August, 2010
Striking doctors in Lagos Stateâ€™s public hospitals will meet later today to call off their nine-day old strike and embrace dialogue with the state government to resolve the issues at hand.
The doctors, under the aegis of Medical Guild and the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD went on strike on 12 August, 2010 to demand the immediate implementation of the new Federal Government Approved Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS approved for doctors at the federal level.
The Lagos State Government had said it could not meet the doctorsâ€™ demand for the implementation of CONMESS, which would cost the government N1.8 billion monthly to pay doctorsâ€™ salaries and subsequently took the matter to the National Industrial Court to stop the ongoing strike.
The Secretary, ARD, Dr. Idris Durojaiye told P.M.NEWS this morning that the doctors would meet by 4.00 p.m. today to read the state governmentâ€™s letter to them and then suspend the strike to pave way for dialogue.
The court had ordered the doctors to suspend the strike on or before today and enter into dialogue with the government, while it also told the government to transmit a letter to the Medical Guild and the ARD indicating its desire to enter into dialogue with the doctors.
Acting on the courtâ€™s order, the doctors have received the letter from the state government intimating them of its decision to dialogue with them, which informed the reason for this eveningâ€™s meeting to suspend the strike.
The meeting between the government and the doctors ought to have been held on Monday but the state government asked the doctors to suspend the strike first before it could dialogue with them following last Fridayâ€™s appeal by the court to the doctors to put the strike on hold.
The refusal of the doctors to suspend the strike took the two parties to court on Tuesday, while the court then ordered the doctors to suspend the strike and enter into dialogue with government after the government had transmitted a letter to them first.
The strike embarked upon by the doctors crippled activities in all the stateâ€™s General Hospitals and public health facilities, while thousands of patients were seen roaming various public hospitals looking for doctors to attend to them.
As a result of the impact of the strike, many Lagosians yesterday begged the doctors to end the strike in order to avert death of patients and in the interest of the public.
Mr. Raphael Iliaro, who came to Orile Agege General Hospital, had said it was now time for the doctors to consider the interest of the masses by calling off the strike and also appealed to government to meet their demands.
â€œThey should call off the strike; they should obey the court unless they have a contrary order.Â Â Government should also attend to their needs.Â Â The patients are at the receiving end of this strike,â€ he said.
According to Mrs Williams Elizabeth, who brought her child who had Sickle Cell to the hospital, the doctors should call off the strike, saying that she came all the way from Iyana Iyesi and that there was no doctor to attend to the health of her child.