Lagos urges resident doctors to shun proposed strike

Lagos urges resident doctors to shun proposed strike
Gov. Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Government has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors to suspend their proposed industrial strike action scheduled to commence on Monday, August 2.

According to The PUNCH, the aggrieved doctors cited Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu's directive to stop the enrolment of interns, house officers and National Youth Service Corps members on the National Health Insurance Scheme among other reasons that necessitated their strike.

The resident doctors, who criticised the Lagos State Government for its hastiness in the implementation of a Federal Government directive, declared an indefinite nationwide strike beginning on Monday (tomorrow).

The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, in a circular (Ref. No. CIR/HOS/'21/Col.1/052) on July 12, 2021, titled 'Internship Programme in the Civil/Public Service,' stated that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had authorised the removal of medical doctors on internship, housemanship and NYSC programmes in the state.

However, in a statement titled, 'LASG did not issue directive to reduce allowances of NYSC doctors – Commissioner', the government described the declaration of the strike by the doctors as hasty.

The statement, which was signed by the Lagos Commissioner, Establishments, Training And Pensions, Ajibola Ponnle, read, "Lagos State Government has noted the decision of the National Association of Residents Doctors to call out doctors on a strike from Monday, 2nd August, 2021.

"The decision followed the directive of its National Executive Committee meeting held in Umuahia on 30th July, 2021.

"The communique cited, amongst other grievances, a purported directive from the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Special Duties, to reduce the monthly payment of NYSC Doctors from N75,000 to N15,000, effective July 2021. This claim is false and misleading.

"The resolutions reached at the 42nd National Council on Establishments Meeting held in Lagos on Monday, 30th November – Friday, 4th December, 2020, necessitated the issuance of a circular by the Head of Service of Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, to communicate the decision taken at the Federal level to public servants in Lagos.

"The directive was that Internship Programmes/Houseman-ship/NYSC Doctors in the Public Service should no longer attract Grade Levels in the Salary Structure as the programmes form part of the training.

"Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu remains committed to the welfare of Lagos State Government employees, particularly the health workers who have showed commitment, bravery and resilience in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The State Government, through the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, will hold a stakeholders' consultative meeting in the coming week on the implications of the decision taken by the National Council of Establishments on Internship, Housemanship and NYSC Doctors in the Civil/Public Service, which prompted this action.

"The decision of NARD is hasty. We, therefore, appeal for restraint by the Lagos Chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors and Nigerian Medical Association. They should wait for the conclusion of these engagements."

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