Despite the sack letters issued to more than 1,000 doctors in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), on Monday, over the lingering strike; the doctors say they are “not moved” by the dismissal.
“Forget about this sack, we have gone through this place before,” said Edamisan Temiye, chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State.
“This is a de javu. We are not moved. The person who wrote the sack letters will find a reason to withdraw the sack letter later,” Dr. Temiye added.
At the end of the medical doctors’ congress, Monday, in Lagos, the NMA resolved to set up an ‘Elders Committee’ to meet with the Lagos State government.
“The reaction of Lagos State government to that meeting, what comes out of that meeting will definitely decide the next line of action we are going to take,” said Dr. Temisan.
The NMA also agreed to set up a disciplinary committee to “discipline” medical doctors who are “fighting the battle” from the government side of the divide such as Jide Idris, the state commissioner for Health and Ore Falomo, Chairman of Lagos State Medical Advisory Committee,
“We have set up a disciplinary committee to deal with those doctors who are causing problems for us,” Dr. Temisan said.
As the strike entered its 14th day on Monday, both the Lagos State government and the doctors refused to shift grounds on their demands.
While the doctors insist that the state government must implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) among other demands; the state says it would no longer pay any “fees imposed” by the federal government.
The state government made good its threat of dismissing doctors who failed to answer queries issued to them.
In letters of dismissal dated May 4, 2012 and signed by the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Professor David Oke; the state dismissed over 80 percent of doctors under its employment, a move the doctors described as “the greatest insult to the medical profession.”
“Lagos state is behaving like a 17th century emperor, and such an emperor in 21st century cannot survive,” Dr. Temisan said.
The doctors also faulted the government’s moves to recruit new doctors as well as employ ‘locum’ doctors – employing doctors on contract basis.
“Lagos State wants to casualize medical profession,” said Dr. Temisan.
“It is an insult to the profession, and we hope that no doctor will fall prey to that because if you fall prey, they will regret it.
“One, Lagos state will turn them to killers in hospitals.
“Two, the profession will deal with them.”