10th April, 2012
Once again, doctors working under the employ of the Lagos State Government have given notice of their intention to embark on a three-day warning strike starting from tomorrow to be followed by an indefinite strike if the government fails to meet their demands.
This time around, the doctors are protesting the non implementation of their Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) approved for them in 2011 by the Babatunde Fashola administration. The doctors also accused the administration of bad faith in the implementation of the downward review of taxes paid by doctors.
Rather than review downward the excessive taxation, the doctors accused the government of increasing their taxes.
According to the Chairman of the Lagos Medical Guild, the umbrella union of the doctors, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, the union had in the last 13 months held several meetings, presented several documents to the state government and appealed to it to meet their demands but all to no avail.
Though the state government has not responded to the allegations levelled by the doctors and upon which they are threatening to embark on another round of strike, it is our opinion that the state government should move fast and avert another avoidable strike in the public health sector. In this context, we are imploring the government to meet the doctors’ demands and prevent another round of untold suffering in public hospitals.
The Fashola administration should not allow the situation to degenerate like it happened in 2010 and 2011 when doctors in public hospitals in the state went on strike for six months with its attendant tales of woe, anguish and death in the hospitals.
We hasten to call on the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, not to be rigid but to apply tact and maturity in his dealings with the doctors.
It is our advice that the commissioner should consider the plight of thousands of Lagosians who will be affected if the doctors abandon work in the hospitals.
It is our hope that Governor Babatunde Fashola will take the strike notice issued by the doctors seriously and dialogue with them in order to resolve their differences.
Lagos State can hardly afford another strike by public doctors. The government should meet with the doctors and meet their demands.
We are also calling on the doctors to remember that by virtue of the Hippocratic Oath which they swore to protect lives, they should tread softly. Strike should be the last resort after negotiation might have failed. The interest of patients should be uppermost in their dealing with the government.
We want to implore both the Lagos State government and the doctors to have the interest of the masses at heart by resolving their differences amicably rather than resort to muscle flexing which won’t do anybody any good.
We say no to another strike by doctors in Lagos.