Crisis Deepens’ As Lagos Doctors Strike Enters Day Six
DOCTORS in the employ of Lagos State government yesterday said no amount of intimidation would have them return to work without their salary arrears, among other demands.
The doctors, under the aegis of Medical Guild, said this as they alleged that the state government had resorted to intimidation of senior officers of the guild.
Meanwhile, the umbrella body of the doctors, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos branch, may join the strike, in sympathy to the course of their colleagues in the employment of the Lagos government.
It would be recalled that the state government had declared the current strike action, which enters day six today, as illegal, ordering the doctors to return to work immediately.
Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Biyi Kufo alleged on yesterday that the administration has come up with threats and intimidation, setting up registers for doctors to sign, and constituting monitoring teams made up of mainly junior workers.
Kufo noted that while such measure was never taken during similar industrial action by members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), “the administration has also, curiously, told us that it is not interested in emergency services, and has threatened to apply the segregationist ‘no work, no pay’ policy to members of the guild, in obvious denial of the fact that we are at work.”
The current strike was embarked upon in protest against the continued appointment of doctors as casual (contract) workers in place of the aborted residency training programme, unpaid arrears for the months of May 2012 and July, August and September 2014 due to the application of the state’s ‘no work, no pay’ policy to members of the Medical Guild.
Secretary of the NMA, Dr. Babajide Saheed said the sympathy strike by NMA was in accordance with the resolution of 30 December 2014 and had been communicated to the appropriate authorities.
Saheed said that the NMA Lagos State would be left with no option than to call all its members in the state on a general withdrawal of services in all institutions in the state (state and federal), after one week of commencement of the Medical Guild’s withdrawal of services.