Doctors in the employment of Lagos State Government under the aegis of the Medical Guild, have resolved to embark on a three-day warning strike from April 11 to 13.
The Chairman of the Guild, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, made this known at a news conference in Lagos on Friday.
Odusote said that the warning strike became imperative to press home their demand for the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) and downward review of what he described as “excessive” taxation.
“During this period, all services will be withdrawn by our members. If by the end of this month, government refuses to implement CONMESS and review tax downwards, we will resume indefinite strike suspended since 2011,” Odusote said.
Also speaking, Dr Oluwajimi Shodipo, the Secretary, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said that the reason for the suspension of the strike in the past was to ensure that patients did not suffer unduely.
“The major reason that strikes are called off was because we did not want our patients to suffer and not because government had refused to heed to our demands.
“We have a high population in Lagos, and doctors in the state perform more than their counterparts in other states.
“This is a warning strike. Government can prevent a major strike if it takes action immediately,” he said.
Shodipo urged the people to prevail on the government to do “what is right and resolve the warning strike”.
Also commenting, Dr Saliu Oseni, a former President of the association, said that the agreement with the government in 2011 to implement CONMESS remained an issue.
“The government needs to fulfil its own part of the agreement. We do not want our patients to continue to die due to warning strike,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that doctors in the state went on strike between August and November 2010 and between February and April 2011 over the non-implementation of CONMESS and downward review of excessive taxation.
The doctors also called for the reinstatement of Dr Ibrahim Olaifa, the sacked former Chairman of the Medical Guild, and the resumption of monthly deduction of members’ union dues.