NMA orders Lagos doctors back to work

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Saturday directed all the doctors on strike, including those in Lagos State, to resume work in their various hospitals immediately. Dr Osahan Enabulele, the National President of NMA, made this known to newsmen after a five-hour Emergency Delegates Meeting (EDM) in Lagos.

“The EDM resolved that there should be an unconditional recall by the issuance of individual letters of recall to all the 788 illegally sacked doctors in Lagos State, without any punitive measures. The EDM also resolved that a meeting between Lagos State chapter of NMA and the Lagos State Government be convened within two weeks.

“The meeting should address issues relating to the withdrawal of sack letters and the implementation of all agreements earlier entered into by the Lagos State Government,’’ he said.

Enabulele said that the EDM had empowered the National Executive Council of the NMA to issue a three-week ultimatum to the Lagos State Government if the government failed to recall the sacked doctors unconditionally and meet all the agreements within two weeks.

He, nonetheless, said that the EDM strongly condemned the casualisation of labour in the medical profession and strongly advised the Lagos State Government to stop forthwith this atavistic exercise.

“The EDM of the NMA revalidates the December 2010 National Executive Council resolution directing all the state branches of NMA to negotiate with the state governments that have yet to commence the implementation of CONMESS. The EDM resolved to utilise appropriate mechanisms to address all acts of disloyalty and gross abuse of the ideals of the association and the medical profession by its members.

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“The EDM directs the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its earlier ultimatum given to the Federal Government on an indefinite strike over the crisis in the Lagos State’s health sector.

“The national body of the NMA directs the Lagos State branch of NMA to suspend its strike, with the hope that the Lagos State Government will fulfil all the agreements it earlier entered into with doctors in Lagos State Government’s employment,’’ he said.

Enabulele conveyed the EDM’s appreciation for the speedy intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan and the goodwill of the Joint Action Front, ASUU, NUPENG, NBA, Mr Femi Falana, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, the mass media and other well-meaning Nigerians.

He, however, appealed to the citizens to prevail on the Lagos State Government to fulfil all the agreements it had with the doctors.

“We expect the Lagos State Government to show good example to others by doing this,’’ he added.