Falomo Slams Lagos Doctors

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Doctors in public hospitals in Lagos State have been lambasted for departing from the path of honour  by embarking on strike.

The Chief Medical Director of Maryland Specialist Hospital and former physician to the late Moshood  Abiola, Dr. Ore Falomo, excoriated the doctors while speaking on a TV programme monitored today in  Lagos.

According to Falomo, the ongoing strike by doctors in Lagos “is unjustified and uncalled for. Shutting  down emergency ward is bad. It is sheer blackmail for the doctors to go on strike when the Lagos State  government is addressing their demands.”

Falomo, who has been in practice for 33 years, further queried: “Why should the doctors discharge  patients from hospitals? It doesn’t happen anywhere in the world. Doctors are supposed to be  protectors of the patients under their care. They owe obligation to the patients, to God and their  conscience.

“They have a right to agitate but not the way they are going about it. There are over 1,500 doctors in  public hospitals but less than 250 of them took the decision to go on strike.

“They went into medicine knowing what it takes. You can’t become a billionaire by becoming a medical  doctor. Doctors in France, Italy, etc. are not happy but they have not gone on strike because they  know that it is against the ethics of their profession to do so.”

Falomo said when he was a doctor in public service in the 70s and 80s, the Nigerian Medical  Association never went on strike for up to three days.

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He added: “During the military era, the rulers considered health as a social service and never paid  much attention to health facilities in the country. The military has an orientation for not saving  life and they never listened. So the NMA went on strike briefly.

“General Muhammadu Buari, who was then the head of state, became angry and proscribed NMA and arrested  its executives. Highly placed people in the society prevailed on military officers outside government  to come to terms with the implications the proscription of NMA and arrest of its officials posed to  the fate of patients in the hospitals. The officers went and spoke with Buhari who immediately  deproscribed NMA and released the arrested officials.”

He said the health institution is too crucial for anybody to toy with, adding that sick people are  very vulnerable and should not be abandoned by doctors, not withstanding their grievances.

He urged them to go back to work as the state government was already addressing their grievances.

Doctors in Lagos State owned public hospitals went on strike last Friday to press home their demand  for the payment of the new salary approved by the Federal Government.

The state government has described the strike as political and unwarranted because the doctors’  demands had already been addressed.

—Ada Owojela