Lagos health crisis: Fashola sacks striking doctors

by Lekan Olanrewaju

Governor Fashola is clearly not one to bluff. Just a few days after expressing his displeasure at the current strike action being undertaken by doctors in Lagos state, he has made good on his threat to sack those involved.

Doctors in the state under the aegis of the Medical Guild had embarked on an indefinite strike to demand the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS. The government, however, refused to give in to their demands, with the governor stating that the whole ordeal was “very painful” for him, and going on to threaten to fire the striking doctors.

The state government has wasted no time in putting those words into action, as the doctors have now been served with dismissal letters.

The letters were dated Friday, May 4, 2012 and signed by the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor David Oke.

“The committee therefore recommend your dismissal from service in accordance with the provisions of the civil service rule No 04502, 04507 and 04508.” reads an excerpt. “The board has therefore approved your dismissal.”

“Therefore you are to convey the possession of the properties of the state government in your custody to the Chief Medical Director CMD.”

The secretary of the Medical Guild, Idris Durojaiye confirmed the development, but stated that the doctors will be holding a press conference to decide their next line of action. The Nigeria Medical Association has also shelved plans for a proposed solidarity strike with Lagos State doctors.

This, according to the Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the NMA, Dr Edamisan Temiye, is due to the fact a negotiating team has been set up to find a solution to the problems as soon as possible.

“We wish the team concludes negotiations within the shortest possible time so that doctors can go back to their duty posts,” he said.

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Comments (2)

  1. For your information; Issues
    concerning the Nigerian Medical
    Association,Medical guild of Lagos.
    The consolidated medical salary scale
    is the salary structure designed by the
    federal government 4years ago with the aim of providing a uniform salary
    scale for doctors irrespective of the
    state,kind of hospital,and
    specialisation. With an annual
    increment denoting years of
    experience. Most states in the country immediately
    began paying conmess in full.
    2years after this,the medical guild
    wrote several letters to the government
    to remind them of conmess as they
    were yet to be paid. The governor then SIGNED an agreement that he would
    commence payment in 2011 with
    arrears being owed.
    The federal government made it clear
    that if conmess is paid, Doctors would
    ignore the poor work conditions,work extended hours like they have been
    but this time they would be happy
    doing it, they wouldn't have to leave
    the country to work abroad, more
    people would be encouraged to train
    as doctors and the health of the people would be secured.
    Tax was increased, conmess was not
    paid, work conditions were not
    improved, doctor's lives were lost to
    stress related illnesses. Call rooms
    were not provided for doctors on call. When Mr Fashola was reminded in
    January,he simply said the President
    couldn't dictate how much he would
    pay doctors in his state,and the tax
    increase was necessary so we can get
    used to it INCASE he agrees to implement conmess! He said he
    couldn't afford to pay conmess(but
    could plan the most expensive
    birthday party in the World for Mr
    Tinubu)
    We then embarked on a legal 3day warning strike with prior notice to
    sensitize the people and remind the
    government of the signed agreement
    On resumption,all doctors were given
    individual query letters(for a joint
    action?). Another one was issued,then letters were issued for "call to panel /
    impending dismissal from duty". A
    week later, armour tanks were brought
    to all lagos general hospitals and
    teaching hospital Lasuth ikeja,with
    doctors walked out of their clinics while seeing patients. The Med guild
    immediately called for an indefinite
    strike and the lagos state government
    sued for breech of agreement and
    Victimisation of doctors.
    Fake pay slips were published in the papers 2weeks ago claiming doctors
    were being paid as much as 900,000
    whereas a medical professor of
    20years has never been paid as much
    as 500,000.
    A Neurosurgeon(brain surgeon) consultant still collects 171,000 as
    salary. Be informed we have only less
    dan 20 in Nigeria(2of them with lagos
    state,they trained in America,they have
    both been sacked!).They work round
    the clock(we have enough head injuries daily due to road traffic
    accidents).
    3days ago,we were issued sack letters
    and 97 doctors(not 373 like u heard)
    were employed as locum doctors
    (doctors paid per hour). These locum doctors need residents and
    consultants to put them through.
    It takes years of experience to perform
    a caesarian section on a woman or a
    brain surgery(esp bore hole to relieve
    increased brain pressure or blood in d brain) or an appendectomy or treat a
    sick child or even to help a mentally ill
    patient.
    NMA has made it clear that the newly
    appointed doctors should not & would
    not accept the job offer,and that all doctors across the nation would join in
    the strike against victimization on friday
    after the on going professional exams.
    The issue is now beyond CONMESS
    struggle – the government is aiming to
    devour the medical and dental profession.
    Be informed that doctors are not
    slaves,our Hippocratic oath explains
    that we owe an obligation to our
    patients and they owe an obligation to
    us and our services must be paid for. Thanks for taking time to read this. I
    hope you have been well informed. Dr
    Biggie Adeyemi

  2. Why did the governor fail to honour the agreement signed with doctors in 2009 during his first term? The salary structure in contention is what their colleagues elsewhere have been enjoying for some years now. Now resorting to propaganda.
    Oh wait, this is his second term and he couldn't care less.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail