Lagos doctors want public to mediate in ongoing strike

As the doctors’ strike in Lagos State public hospitals entered its seventh day, Monday, the doctors called on the members of the public prevail on the state government to resolve the crisis in the health sector. 

At a congress of the Medical Guild on Monday, Olumuyiwa Odusote, the chairman of the Guild, beckoned on the public to support in their “struggle for efficiency in the health sector.”

“I groan within me to see Lagosians suffer. So ask the government about the casualties and the lives that have been lost,” said Dr. Odusote.

The Medical Guild is an umbrella body for doctors employed by the Lagos State government.

There appears to be no end in sight to the dispute between the doctors and state government.

Since the beginning of the indefinite strike, state hospitals have been turning patients back and many lives have been reportedly lost to the crisis. 

“There is a general believe that those in authority do not use the facilities in public hospitals,” Dr. Odusote said.

“So those who use the facilities are the masses and they are the ones who are going to suffer. It’s a struggle that everybody must partake in,” he added. 

The Medical Guild faulted claims by the state government to temporarily engage Youth Corps doctors in managing emergency cases at all hospitals. 

“There is a limit to what they can do, so when they get to their limit, what happens next?” he asked. 

“It is impossible to replace doctors with about 25 years of experience with doctors with just two years of experience,” Dr. Odusote added.

The doctors want the full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and downward review of their taxes, among other issues. 

According to the doctors, the improved salary structure is a benchmark that will regulate the medical profession and reduce brain drain in the profession. 

However, the state government said it had agreed to pay CONMESS, blaming the doctors for their incessant strikes. 

Furthermore, the Lagos State government had issued queries to the doctors who embarked on a three day warning strike and asked them to appear before a disciplinary committee to justify their roles in the strike earlier in the month.  

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