Lagos State Government Sacks 788 Striking Doctors, Employs 373 New Ones

The rift between striking doctors under the employment of the Lagos state government and their employers seem to be getting even wider. Rather than make efforts to resolve their grievances and return back to work, the Lagos state government is severing the relationship between them and the doctors.

In what can be described as one of the largest layoffs in the state’s public service, the Lagos state government has dismissed the 788 doctors who participated in a three-day warning strike between April 11 and 13, 2012 and further announced the employment of  373 doctors for immediate deployment in the public hospitals while recruitment continues.

The state government in a statement signed by the Head of Service, Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe announced that the striking doctors were sacked following their refusal to answer to queries to explain why they were absent from work without leave and without the due observance of the rules and regulations guiding strikes and industrial actions in the State’s Public Service.

316  of these doctors were working with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital while the remaining 472 were from other hospitals in the State.

On what made the strike illegal, the statement noted, among other things, that the doctors only gave the State Government 24 hours notice “as against the time-tested and statute-bound processes and procedures for declaration of industrial disputes”.

One of the letters Tagged: “Dismissal from Services” and signed by the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Professor David Oke, reads: This is to inform you that at the Personnel Management Board (disciplinary committee) meetings which held between Tuesday 24th and Thursday 26 April 2012, a case of misconduct to wit absence from duty without leave or reasonable cause between Wednesday 11th and Friday, 13th April 2012, was established against you.

“You are also found guilty of insubordination for failure to respond to lawful queries issued to you. The committee therefore recommended your dismissal from service. In accordance with the provisions of the civil service rule, Nos: 04502,04507 & 04508, the board has approved your dismissal. Therefore, I hereby convey your dismissal from Lagos State service with effect from Friday 4th May 2012. You are by this letter advised to hand over all government properties in your possessions to the office of Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University.”

The Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, confirmed that the striking doctors had been sacked. He said that the state government had given all the doctors letters of termination of appointment for failing to reply the three letters of query and a letter of summons asking them to appear before the personnel management board on April 24.

Odusote said, “I just received the termination letters for doctors in LASUTH. Other doctors in other public hospitals have received the dismissed letters signed by the chief medical directors of their various state hospitals. It is actually dated the 4th of April, but they sent it to our secretariat on Monday morning. It takes immediate effect. We are to vacate the premises immediately, even our secretariat.”

Doctors’ Reaction

Reacting to this Mr. Odusote, condemned the state government action, describing it as “insincerity on the part of the state government.”

“We are going to see the implication of this dismissal immediately. The NMA and the Medical Guild will definitely react to this unjust action of the Lagos State Government as it makes history today by laying off a major workforce in its health sector.”

Also, the NMA has threatened to shut down health services in Lagos if government fails to retract its decision after a proposed meeting with the State government within 24 hours.

After an emergency congress in Lagos, the State Chairman of NMA, Dr Temiye Edamisan described the government action as draconian and undemocratic and most obscene by any government.

“We are not in a military regime we understand it but share the toga of military. They are still behaving as if they are in military. If they do this to the doctors and they survive, they will do it to the other workers in the health team. They have turned everybody as their slaves because they think they are so big now that people should become their slaves. Go and see the taxi drivers who have become their slaves.”

Asked the next line of action, he said: “We are going to wait. Forget about the sack letter. We have gone this road before. This is déjà vu. We know this has happened before we are not moved. The person who wrote the sack letters will find reason to withdraw them later. What is most important is that Lagos state wants to casualise medical profession which is an insult to the profession. We hope that no doctor will fall prey to that. If they fall prey they will regret it. One, the Lagos State government will turn them to cleaners in the hospital.”

What do you think about this new development? Will the doctors succeed in reverting the decision of the Lagos State Government? And if they don’t, what fate awaits the new doctors that have been employed by the Government?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: Punch | Vanguard

70 Comments on Lagos State Government Sacks 788 Striking Doctors, Employs 373 New Ones
  • Xeextwax May 8, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I believe that the recalcitrant attitude of the striking medical doctors was well rewarded by the Govenor. These doctors place much premium on money than on people’s live, this is dangerous in public health service. These are not doctors but blackmailers, sabotours and literate thugs,their flaggrant disrespect for law and order must not go unpunished. The Governor being a lawyer himself must have consulted wisely and widely through legal procedures before sacking them, i salute his courage. The new employees have nothing to worry they stand a better chance to pursue their career in the Lagos state public health service.

  • Tailas May 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

    General fashola, I see u…buh dem talk say U̶̲̥̅̊ be lawyer now.u’ d worse av ever seen. Is it because u’ no more seeking ƑƠ̴͡Ʀ re-election? Thiz undemocratic.ill-advised

  • Me2me May 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I don’t think re-election has much to do with this. No one forced these doctors to study medicine in Nigeria talk more of practising it. What I will say is that as a doctor if you can watch lives pass on all because you want more money then it simply means you don’t know what u signed up for.

    They all want to be like oil workers, u guys have totally forgotten that there are more than a million doctors waiting to enter the shoes you were in.

    When one has no job they plead for any, when they get it and are not satisfied they resign or sit there and grumble

    • NK May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      I hope ur father is a herbalist, cos u will need one ones Nigeria is depleted of good physicians. Pls dear think before u speak cos ur ignorance is truly showing.

  • sunmonu kola May 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

    The issue is very technical but, for now, the Lagos State govt. Decision on the sacked doctors is welcomed. That will serve as a lesson to others.

  • sk May 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I think the Government did the right thing and I support him 100%. These Doctors only care about the money. Most enter the profession thinking the can make money easily, majority just don’t care. Some of these Doctors have their own private hospital so they would not care if those that can’t afford it die. I can’t count the number of people I know who have died as a result of these incessant strikes. Please employ people that have the heart and are ready to work

  • Amara E May 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Perfect! Exactly what I personally would hv done…it’s a job, everybody is disposable. like I already said, most Nigerians react n talk more than they think. you don’t pick a fight were there’s a higher chance of you being the collateral damage and ur opponent hv nothing to loose. Now they can sit at home all they want.

  • chichi May 8, 2012 at 9:19 am

    dr s beelong to nma,lets see if d newly employed doctors go to work!

  • tinU May 8, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS NONSENCE ,HW CAN U SACK THIS DOCTORS I BELIEVE THERE R OTHER MEANS TO HANDLE THEM,ALSO HW CAN U SIGN AN AGREEMENT SINCE 2009 WITH THE DOCTORS AND NEVER IMPLEMENT IT.FOR ALL THE NEW DOCTORS ,I SERIOUSLY PITY FOR U GUYS COS ITS THE SAME CANE THAT FASHOLA WILL USE ON U ALL.

  • Miss A May 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I totally agree with Fashola’s decision.
    Its time we stopped supporting ill- behaviour by striking workers in Nigeria. We see workers strike but we never see the output of their work, only the forced shut down of the economy.
    It shouldnt be all about the increase in nominal terms of the wages they receive but the increase in its real terms.

    Maybe this will serve as a warning to all potential unionists. We need a Margret Tatcher type top fight these unionists.

  • ify May 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

    A VERY BIG LESSON 4 NIGERIA DOCTORS.

  • Touchedbyanangel May 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

    …and when you hear their demands, you will feel sorry for other profession.

  • damsel May 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I supported Fashola,it is high time doctors realised that they should look for other ways to show their grievances when issue arises not by striking all the time.

  • dat May 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I see that many peoples comment is one sided, am not really in support of the strike action by the doctors because they have sworn 2 preserve life, but when u look at the present situation of things this has been a fight that has being going on for over 4 years now where d government promises dem they go back 2 work and noting changes. As they say drastic situation require drastic measures. If the government is left 2 win n perpetuate with there acts, this will still happen again in the near future. But lets not 4get dat even 2 elephants fight d grass will always surfer it

  • LPS May 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Hmmmmm…

  • adenike May 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Governor Fashola is a lawyer (a SAN at that) so I’m pretty sure he must have a good legal backing before sacking them.
    That being said, I’m glad this is the first time opinions are divided; some are for the governor while some are for the doctors, which means the doctors don’t have 100% support. Lagos state doctors are ridiculously greedy,go and ask how much doctors in other states are earning. The only thing they know how to fight for is “better pay”. The least striking doctor earns about 170k while a consultant earns about 850k i think. Ironically,a consultant who runs a private clinic of his own actually pays his own doctor not up to 80k-you see how greedy/selfish they are? If you’ve ever lost a relative to their yeye strike;you’ll have a better idea of what people are saying. If you can hold the state to ransom,then I think your employer has every right to get rid of you.
    Most of the things they go on strike for can’t be tolerated in private establishments.
    I support the sack and recruitment of new doctors. Let’s see how far this drama will go.

    • Gidi May 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      850k you think? Better don’t say things you are unsure of.
      I have said this before and i wish to say it again. What exactly are the doctors striking for?Why is it so difficult to know what the strike is all about? How can the public make an informed decision when we don’t know what they are striking for?
      In the absence of that and coupled with the ineptitude and outright gross inability of some of the doctors in the public sector make it difficult to support the doctors. I’ll remain on the fence for now.

      • NK May 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

        What are they striking for u ask, good question, when was the last time you went to any Nigerian general hospital? If you have seen one recently and its still not obvious what they are striking for, then no answer will work for you. No where in the world are healthcare professionals fired in such a way. Democracy demands diplomatic approach before such barbaric move! Nigerian you can’t have your cake and eat it too, is either you want a better society in a civilized way or be satisfied with the backward ways, what am I saying… its not ok to over work and underpay anyone. Good healthcare requires well trained, well compensated and well regulated healthcare community!

      • Ready May 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        @ Gidi, staying on the fence when one doesn’t have info is good, but when the info is out there and you don’t go looking for it? Eh..
        Yes, consultants do make over 800k and the average house officer makes 175k. Google is our friend.

  • ij May 8, 2012 at 11:39 am

    so i take it the newly employed doctors don’t have a problem with what caused the strike in the first place

    • Me May 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      They may be fully aware, but with the limited job openings, unstable Nigerian economy and rampant erratic lay offs, they have been driven to destitution to accept the job offer regardless. You seize any good opportunity when it presents itself.

  • lahips May 8, 2012 at 11:57 am

    we are in a democratic country, i think his decision was rather harsh, but i do hope before he took this decision that a process had been followed, like hearing the Doctors out as per their demands, there should definately have been other measures, though on a second thought lifes are at stake, so someone needs to attend to the sick.

  • Rabina May 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Well done governor Fashola, for sacking these striking workers- I just wish university lecturers could be dealt with in the same way- sacked for going on strike whenever they feel like and leaving their students to stew in their juices even though these students have paid their fees upfront!

  • feran May 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I’m in support of fashola all the way. I am a doctor in the private sector and the truth is when you choose a profession like medicine, you Do so having in mind the limitations in pay. Not to talk of government paid doctors. Of which done of them are be tree paid than their contemporaries in private sector. You are not holding people to ransom with your greed you are killing people!

    • Gidi May 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Are you sure that you are a doctor?

      • molarah May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        As in! This person’s grammar makes me tremble.

  • pynk May 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Part of the problem with Unions is that while they are created to serve the interests of the workers, they often lose their way.
    As for firing the doctors, who exactly does fashola intend to replace them with? All they should have done was not pay their salaries and in the future not allow incoming doctors to join unions.

  • BettyB May 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    What will the strike profit? Absolutely nothing. Replacing the sacked doctors with new doctors will only lead to loss of lives. There is a reason why it takes over 7 years to be a consultant. All the knowledge in the world cannot substitute for experience.NYSC doctors have little experience,they should not be expected to take on roles that they are totally inexperienced for. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Many of the doctors in Nigeria are the ones that care enough to stay, the rest have fled the country as fast as their legs can carry them. What will happen is that the best minds will leave for greener pastures, leaving those who can’t behind. A frustrated,inexperienced doctor is a danger to society. This move will create more problems than it will solve.

    • Rabina May 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      well, the sacked doctors can leave for greener pastures overseas if they want to do so- assuming there are jobs overseas of course- a lot of our graduates, including doctors and nurses are starting to come back home, which should be telling you something…..

      • BettyB May 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        There will always be job opportunities for doctors worldwide. A lot of graduates are returning, but very,very few doctors or nurses are among them.

      • Gidi May 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

        No doctor nor nurse is coming back home o!
        Don’t deceive a gullible public. The Nigerian medical system is a mixture of the broken and dilapidated system coupled with a large percentage of inept and uninterested workers (doctors & nurses). Whenever you stumble on the very few dedicated and good ones,it feels like a breath of fresh air.
        sacking all the doctors will not solve anything as the hospitals are nothing to write home about and neither will meeting the unknown demands of the doctors change their attitude to work.

  • correct May 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Lagos state doctors are totally greedy and have no respect for human life.They are always going on strike,they want to bcm gods bcs they are what “doctors” if a doctor earns 170 and a consultant earn 850 in dis recession what else do they want.just bcs u had it tough in sch doesn’t mean others had it easy.let them go and work in private hospitals n see how appreciative the employers are.I support fashola totally.

  • SOLID C May 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Although I admire the current governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola, for his giant strides in the development of Lagos since he got into power, I however think he got it wrong this time. Sacking all the doctors under the government’s employ for exercising their fundamental human rights of going on strike is only unfortunate and laughable! A group, when not well treated can protest by going on strike. The proper thing he should have done is to engage them in continuous dialogue until the issues are resolved. Large scale sacking of doctors in the state portrays the governor as one who is insensitive to their plights.

  • Ure May 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    when i watch medical series like the popular Grey’s Anatomy i see the dedication of doctors to saving lives but in nigeria its completely different, i know that before you become a doctor, you swear some kind of oath that binds you to the saving of human lives, how come doctors in Nigeria dont see the need to be faithful to their oath, are the lives of pple not more important than money? Doctors in Lagos have been going on strike leaving their patients for dead, it obvious that theses doctors dont have value for their profession so KUDOS FASHOLA FOR SACKING THEM.

    • QueenK May 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      lets see if this statement you just made would be different if your mom or dad was actually a Lagos state doctor and got fired with no other means of an income. very stupid and shallow comments on here. pissed off.

    • bee May 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Greys anatomy u say??? U compare fiction to real life? I agree that u are quite shallow. Mayb u should ask derek shepherd, merdith grey and so on how they are treated as Doctors. Get your facts right as in real life statistics before making a complete fool of yourself!! Even in real life doctors abroad get better incentives to work so there is no basis for comparism

  • BettyB May 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    For those harping on about “the oath”, please read and educate yourself. Doctors only owe that obligation to patients they treat. So if you are not yet a patient, the doctor owes you NO obligations.
    I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
    I will not be ashamed to say “I know not”, nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
    I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

  • doc-toh-bad May 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The newly employed doctors are MOs….they know absolutely nothing. They will kill all d pateints…the doctors that matter ie d residents n consultants are d ones who were sacked. U all r talking out of ignorance, these doctors suffer a lot n d work is crazy! All d money in d world cannot be enough for d job doctors do. Pls what can 170k do for u in nigeria of today? Local govt chairmen with primary skool certificates even earn more. Doctors in lasuth have fainted n died while attending to patients. Yes, they swore d hippocrates oath but dat doesn’t mean dey should die in d process. Gov fashola has ruined his political career by dis wanton act. The CMD too should have his licence revoked for this betrayal of his counterparts. He is a shame to d medical profession. U should also know that doctors spend half of their salaries helping patients who cannot afford to buy drugs n do investigations. I know cos I’ve done that countless of times.

    • Ola May 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      u took d words right out of my mouth.. ppl talking about earning 170k.. plss wat is that going to do?? for a doctor oo.. that spent 7 gaddem years in d uni.. oh naija unis add another 3 years or so.. kmt! yeah ppl’s lives are at risk when d doctors go on strike.. but has d government considered satisfying it’s workers to avoid d said strike??

    • Gidi May 9, 2012 at 8:32 am

      stop spewing half-truths.
      Which doctors spend half of their salary on poor patients?
      If you are not satisfied with the 170k as a house officer,quit the job.is it by force?
      I am not bothered about the right of doctors to strike. I am not even averse to them earning more (although i think the pay is good enough at present). What i am bothered about is the poor work ethic of mostly public doctors, the sheer ineptitude and inefficiency of a good portion of them and the lousy audacity of mostly the inefficient ones to think that they deserve more for the less they offer the public.
      You know what else bothers me? The inability of the govt to rationalise the civil service and make it more productive while equipping and maintaining hospitals so that doctors can save the lives most of them are trained to save.

  • ayo May 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    You know all of you who are saying doctors are wrong for striking, na una know. The sad thing is that the general public will suffer. If the government requires any medical attention, they will fly out of the country. So make una dey dere dey talk trash. How many of you will continue going to work if you are not paid your due? Abegi ALUTA CONTINUA. My fellow colleagues ride on.

  • angry doctor May 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Infact what is even saving dr fashola is luth. All d pateints who shld have gone to lasuth and co are going to luth cos we have residents n consultants, MOs can do nothing so he is decieving himself by employing them. U shld see the amount of patients we have in LUTH! Its obscene, and we pay tax to d stupid fashola!! By the time LUTH joins the strike (which will happen very soon) then fashola will know what’s up.
    He will know that we doctors and healthworkers really are indispensible, we care, God heals. In fact, this poem below will tell u that (n) amount of money will ever be enough for d work we doctors do, so gov fashola shld pay us d stipend we r askin cos we over-deserve it:
    About DOCTORS:
    Somebody asked: “You’re a Doctor?!?
    That’s cool, I wanted to do that when I was a kid.
    How much do you make?”
    The Doctor replied: “HOW MUCH DO I MAKE?” …
    I can make holding your hand seem like the most important thing in the world when you’re scared…
    I can make your child breathe when they stop…
    I can help your father survive a heart attack…
    I can make myself get up at 4AM to make sure your mother has the medicine she needs to live…and I will work straight
    through until 4am to keep her alive and start the day all over again!
    I work all day to save the lives of strangers…
    I will drop everything and run a code for hours trying to keep you alive!!!
    I make my family wait for dinner until I know your family member is taken care of…
    I make myself skip lunch so that I can make sure that everything I did for your wife today was correct…
    I work weekends and holidays and all through the night because people don’t just get sick Monday thru Friday and during normal working hours.
    I also expose my self to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and all other dreaded diseases cos evry life is precious.
    Today, I might save your life.
    How much do I make?
    All I know is, I make a difference.

    By His Grace……..

    So gov fashola give us the stipend we are asking so we can take care of our own families, we can only treat patients when we r well ourselves!!!
    I rest my case

    • molarah May 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      And this is because teachers also don’t change lives or what? As much as I don’t totally agree with Fashola on this move, its becoming glaringly obvious that many doctors think the world revolves around them. All I can hear them saying is politicians get paid more, blah blah blah, sorry oh, are all non-doctors politicians? Don’t you realize that the majority is facing as much suffering – probably even more – as you are? If the Lagos state teachers were to take a cue from them and go on strikes too (because their pay is NOTHING to what doctors earn) they’d probably strike for 5 years to justify their own travails. See, everyone with eyes and a working brain knows Nigeria is in a messy situation, so we are all trying to make the best of it and perhaps forge a better future for the ones that are coming up. When doctors, a crucial group in the nation’s workforce, decide to go on strike, it just increases the mess situation for everyone – most especially the masses. Who do you think is suffering for your strikes? Is it government officials that fly to Israel for a toothache? In fact the reason you are striking is because you know this government is concerned about the welfare of its citizens – its all a ploy to hold the government to ransom, which is very sly and under-handed. Please try to look past yourselves in all that is happening.

      And for young doctors, please avoid getting het up by all this noise for industrial action and what not. Most of the people making noise (as is typical in most other groups) are the more experienced older professionals, who might not feel the brunt when the action backfires. Focus on making the best of any situation you are in, rather than working up your nerves over a system that is not inclined to your welfare. And when its time to vote (yes, I’m gonna make this my mantra till the next elections), please ‘pless ya hand’ for only the man/woman you know will listen to you when he/she gets to power.

    • peye May 9, 2012 at 4:49 am

      hey brother I’m angry doctor 2. people don’t know that our hazard allowance for getting in contact with HIV, Hepatitis, TB etc is N5000 and someone is spending N250k as newspaper allowance and people are not shouting

      • Gidi May 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

        So do you want to be paid 250k as hazard allowance? Did you not know that you run the risk of contracting those stuff when you were filling your JAMB form?

  • marvel May 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    To deviate a little, I see a number of arrogant doctors in Lagos. I can’t say I feel bad about the sacking. They should put back some respect into the profession and whilst at it, equip the new doctors with the right tools and attitudes to do their jobs. Most Nigerians who have had treatment in foreign countries, particularly in the U.K and U.S.A will tell you how professional the doctors are. They don’t talk over you and tend to explain what you have, where necessary, use diagrams and speak in lay man terms, the options etc. If you make the mistake of telling the Nigerian doctor what you wish for, he will tell you he has been a doctor for this or that amount of years. I want to empathise but they are something else. Public and Private, that is.

    • peye May 9, 2012 at 4:43 am

      that is the thing. I have worked in units where the welfare of the doctors are well taken care of and generally the doctors there a nicer. I have made comments about this severally. They will entertain questions but working in some units some people will not get seen if you keep taking you time with patients and payina attention and doing all those things the textbook and some senior colleagues say because its not practicable under the given circumstance the person you are talking to is likely over worked and under paid at the same time. Notwithstanding, i have found a lot of doctors who are still very nice and calm under these terrible condition. I think I’ll do a documentary on the working condition of doctors in this country so people can see and understand from the Nigerian doctor’s perspective.

  • suyaman May 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Really interesting to see how many Nigerians support Lagos State on this issue. As I read through the comments, I felt my inmost thoughts about the doctors’ strike and their consequent sack take on written form. Although I appreciate the hard work and dedication demanded by the medical profession, I cannot come to terms with doctors to whom lives are entrusted opt for strike almost as a first resort. One also feels that unionists are far too quick to go on strike in this country. And once they are on strike, their employer is practically forced to give in to their requests and that even when there is little hope of meeting such requests on the long run. Workers should begin to consider alternatives to strikes.

    • peye May 9, 2012 at 4:34 am

      it is unfortunate but that is kinda like the only thing Nigerian government can respond to. as long as work continues no one listens to you. they just keep covering up. I really wish there were an alternative cos those people don’t care

  • adenike May 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    @Gidi, I didn’t say what I wasn’t sure of. Everything was published in the papers last week, besides, you can ask questions from (sincere) medical workers. The starting salary for a doctor in Lagos is N173,000 and if you think that’s too small for 7yrs, we all can contribute from our pockets. No one is saying they shouldn’t be paid their “stipends” like someone put it, we are simply saying they need to be more reasonable. When was the last time they went on strike for better health facilities? When was the last time they went on strike for better pay for Nurses? The health sector has way bigger challenges than doctors’ salaries. We all know what the profession looks like in sane countries, how come they find it hard going on strike for better working conditions? We don’t really care about infrastructures basically, it’s all about CONMESS i guess? Meanwhile,75% of CONMESS has been implemented o! Check Lagos State’s health budget for 2012;it’s N33.9B. The entire personnel cost for the state is N81.6B and we’ll complain that Lagos is owing. Don’t worry,when Fashola leaves, we will all realize the mess the state is in debt-wise. The sack was too harsh – I strongly agree but Lagos doctors are highly unreasonable. Same goes for civil servants all over – a huge bunch of lazy people. The only thing they know how to do is “cripple the economy” with irrational strike actions. Go to the secretariat/ministry for anything, their lackadaisical attitudes will almost make you slap someone. They have no idea what people in private organizations go through.
    I’m tired sef. *taps head*

    • Gidi May 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

      I agree with almost all your points but that 850k one. Civil service in Nigeria is a huge joke. The biggest drain on our economy, a close second after corruption by the rulers is civil service. A potent mixture of corruption, ineptitude and sheer inefficiency.
      I know doctors in government service who come to work thrice in a month (yes,i mean 3 times in a month),yet they are the most regular attendees of union meeting and shout the loudest when strike is on the agenda. I know state doctors who are doing PG abroad but are still being paid their complete salaries (no study leave o!).
      Then you have govt who will not even equip the hospitals so that the few efficient docs can function to the best of their abilities. Do you know there are general hospitals in state capitals (not villages o) where there are no running water and operations are often carried out with rechargeable lanterns?
      Both the doctors and the govt should hide their heads in shame.

  • risky May 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Before we crucify the doctors. Do you know they can’t get free treatment in the hospitals they serve? To do that, you will bring your grandma’s birth certificate, letter of employment, all kinds of crazy documents n administrative bottle-necks, not to talk of the long months before approval, by which time they wld have died of their disease.
    Do you know they pay for services in the same queues as their patients? I work in one of these hospitals-i shd know.

    On their value for human lives, let me shock you-their employers dont value the octors lives either. On of our consultants who was caught in traffic and abandoned his car for a cyclist was killed and dismembered by a trailer-not a moment’s silence for him at his hospital.

  • Fortunenice May 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Both sides are wrong

  • risky May 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Sorry must have pressed something. As i was saying,
    Another doctor ws shot dead by armed robbers over a wkend, and as his flustered colleagues gathered the following Monday to mourn, the management wz mo concerned about who would do his duty, as if his life meant nothing. The ever selfish patients on being told what had happened showed no sympathy either and immediately wanted to know who wld treat them

    Another had liver cancer and needed further treatment abroad as many facilities are still lacking here. The ministry was fuly in formed about the urgency of his grave illnesses, yet they dilly dallyed about considering, approving release of funds till he died six weeks later still waitng. Meanwhile if one dropout in the house of assembly has a heada
    che he is flown out with alacrity.
    The other day there was a mass casualty with several accident victims rushed in the same time to a single casualty officer, who frantically tried to save those still slightly alive while leaving the dead whom he couldnt One ‘madam ‘ from House of Assembly unceremoniously barged in asking about her domestic worker also involved but had unfortunately died before reaching the hospital . He asked her to please wait till he finished with the patient on the table, whereupon she immediately reported him to the hospitals authorities for rudeness. He was made to face a panel to please ‘madam’ . Power Show.

    Such is the life of the govt doctor. Constant harassment by govt officials whose domestics and girlfriends come with notes demanding that they drop everything and attend to them.

    By the way , not all of them have clinics. Some actually serve to the best of their ability.

    And have you noticed this constant striking is since a certain commissioner came on board? Maybe administrative competence is an issue here. Bcos i kno they’ ve been on the wage issu for well over three yrs, and whl lagos is prevaricating on one salary raise, another one joins and overtakes it while they debate the budget.

    Could this be why the doctors dont seem to value lives?
    Just pondering.

  • Me May 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    The sacking of the striking health care providers was blatantly premeditated by Fashola. He made sure to stall the implementation of the agreed consolidated medical salary structure long enough to outrage the physicians and trigger their recourse to a strike. He must have known that the majority of the public who depend on the govt. health service will be at risk for exacerbated health problems, disgruntled and rebuke the stiking doctors for their actions. So in an effort to appear altruistic to the dependent public he decides to dismiss the ” non-challant and selfish” doctors and deploy new ones.
    Its a shame that Fashola and all his associates would deem it fit to manipulate the health care system to their liking and subliminally threaten all other workers on what would result if they attempt a strike.

  • NK May 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    At some point we Nigerians have to decide we are better than mediocrity, How is it that Emperor Fash (I don’t mean to be rude but someone else used it on FB and I personally think its funny and might be well deserved) is comfortable with the state of healthcare in Lagos state (though I can then again ask the same question for all of Nigerian governors). He throws a lavish birthday party for his mentor with your money, and its simply to difficult to meet the needs of those you trust with your life and many here thinks he is right. Well how can one argue with the mass when the mass demand for less than they deserve. I guess most Nigerians prefer going to high school dropout concoction mixing chemist with zero clue to the medical effect of what they are given than demanding what is rightfully theirs… So sad! Oga Fash abeg since they say make u stash the money, abeg remember me o, share, I go pray for u o and a larger pocket, lol!

  • art May 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    intern dr 170k, junior reg 250k, senior reg 350k -400k, consultant 800k plus private practice? Is this nt greeed!!

  • NNENNE May 9, 2012 at 1:07 am

    The healthcare sector is not like other professions.I do not understand why the strike have to last this long.People’s lives are involved here.Why the union leaders and the government could not negotiate well is what baffles me. Both parties should have been able to give up something for the interest of the public.The doctors would be doing their private practice, that’s probably why they don’t care. Something need to be done for the interest of the poor masses.

  • peye May 9, 2012 at 3:57 am

    all people have to do before talking is try to get informed. I am in the medical profession and I work in lagos state, though I don’t work with the Lagos state government and I don’t have any family members working there but people really have to find out things beyond the newspaper ‘cos Lagos state government have fed the populace with lies some of which I read personally and they actually wrote salaries they didn’t pay there. I hope people will just read what I put below as the chronicle of events that happened before the strike. The response of people is making my blood boil.
    The beginning: September 29, 2009. Circular on CONMESS is released by Federal Govt (downloadable at nsiwc.gov.ng/Policy_docs.php)
    Sep 2009 – Aug 2010: Medical Guild advocates for implementation of CONMESS in Lagos State.
    Aug to Nov 2010. Strike 1: Medical Guild embarks on strike over non-implementation of CONMESS after 1 year.
    Aug 2010: National Industrial Court declares Medical Guild strike legal.
    Nov 2010. Lagos State Govt signs agreement to implement CONMESS from January 2011. Strike suspended.
    Feb to Mar 2011. Medical Guild resumes strike on account of non-implementation of CONMESS by Jan 2011 as agreed.
    Mar 2011. Cost implication of full CONMESS calculated by Medical Guild & govt agencies & approved for implementation by Gov Fashola.
    Mar 2011. Another agreement to implement CONMESS in full signed by Commissioner for Health, Chairman of ACN Lagos & Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
    Mar 2011. Guild suspends 2nd strike to allow for implementation of agreement on CONMESS by govt.
    Mar-Dec 2011. CONMESS yet to be implemented. Medical Guild writes, presents documents & meets severally with govt to express displeasure
    Dec 2011. His Excellency Gov Raji Fashola meets with Guild & insists that he has already approved full implementation of CONMESS.
    Dec 2011. His Excellency Gov Raji Fashola refers the issue to Head of Service to resolve with the Medical Guild.
    Dec 2011-Apr 2012. Head of Service yet to convene meeting with Medical Guild to resolve CONMESS issues.
    Dec 2011. Head of Service asks Medical Guild to request formally for meeting to resolve CONMESS issues. Guild writes accordingly.
    3 Apr 2012. Guild congress declares warning strike 11-13 Apr to press for CONMESS implementation & raise public awareness on the issues.
    4 Apr 2012. Following strike notice, Commissioner for Health convenes emergency meeting on CONMESS. Outstanding issues remain unresolved.
    11-13 Apr 2012. Medical Guild embarks on 3-day warning strike.
    16 & 18 Apr 2012. Two separate queries issued to all Lagos State doctors over participation in warning strike of previous week.
    18 Apr 2012. Medical Guild writes govt in response to queries: maintains that strike is legal & requests withdrawal of queries.
    23 Apr 2012. Govt invites doctors to disciplinary panels at Health Service Commission & at LASUTH; threatens to sack doctors.
    24 Apr 2012. Guild convene at HSC for congress, only to meet govt-deployed armed mobile policemen & armoured tanks.
    24 Apr 2012. Guild congress declares indefinite strike on account of intimidation & threats by Govt & security personnel.
    25 Apr 2012. NMA throws full weight behind Guild strike; threatens to join if any doctor sacked by Lagos State govt.
    29 Apr 2012. Guild insists on minimum conditions for suspending strike: 1) timeline for implementing full CONMESS
    (2) unconditional withdrawal of queries, disciplinary panels, sack threats & security personnel from hospitals.
    7 May 2012. Lagos State Govt writes dismissal letters to 788 doctors & employs 373 new doctors.

  • peye May 9, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I think one thing is that people have to understand that people have to be paid according to how important their works are and how much it contributes to the lives of people. I’m a doctor but I’ve never really thought about practicing just wanted to complete my house Job and get out so I don’t care about salary increase or not but recently, I’ve seen how Nigerians, government and people have messed doctors up being someone who has worked in 2 govt owned hospitals I think Doctors are treated poorly.
    This country doesnt even have enough doctors and yet the few that decide to stay behind are treated like thrash. many of my colleagues have left and many more are leaving and with acts like this people that weren’t considering leaving will start leaving too. I saw people die during this strike because we refer to those hospitals that are on strike like LASUTH and sometimes general hospital and what I was seeing in the newspaper was govt publishing lies claiming to pay salaries they’re not paying.
    I see parents watching their children die because they can’t afford private hospitals or the ones they can afford are not equipped enough to deal with that kind of a thing.
    You go out and because you are a doctor everyone expects you to give them something and people inflate prices ‘cos u’re a doctor and people make it seem like you’re some super rich fellow.
    the work people do especially in lagos state hospitals are crazy, people dont work that way in many parts of Nigeria. Just ask people that work with them, people collapse regularly and many just leave the work because they haven’t even employed enough people and 1 person is doing the work of 5 people. you don’t understand what it means to see someone working for 3days in a row and sometimes having to just escape to eat one meal in a day. in other parts of the world you work in hours once that is complete you leave if you work past that you are not even considered fit to drive but here the amount that is recommended by Nigerian govt isn’t even paid and people are opening their mouths and talking anyhow yet people that contribute little or nothing to the life of the average person is getting ridiculous amounts of money.
    i know people who lost marriages and relationships that had to stop all because they are working with the government. I taya cos I dont even know where to start. I remember all the crazy conditions we worked in UCH and these comments make you want to break your computer. lets get truth before we judge. I feel the amount they are fighting to get is too small compared to what they contribute and how much they give yet people want to turn the profession to red cross. people want o get treated on the road and get mad when you say they have to go to the clinic for proper consultation. I just pity people who have decided to practice in this country co they will see wen.
    before I forget, my hospital hasn’t paid our salaries since september 2011 and if we go on strike now, someone will say those doctors have started again. that is military hospital Ikoyi and other ministry of defense hospitals that are registered for housemanship, military hospital, kaduna, air force hospital, military hospital, yaba, navy hospital ( the hospital is loaning their doctors 50k monthly). Now they will attempt to behead me for letting something like that out but its true. walk into any of those hospitals and ask anybody.

  • art May 9, 2012 at 7:17 am

    all professionals in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy should also go on strike! Cause we’re all happy with our pay? I think docs should show some sence of responsibility with the special training they have as others do. Using death as a bargaining power is devilish nd against moral ethics.

  • risky May 9, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Again let me add this as an informed person. Only consultants on level 17( highest level) earn the quoted 800 and they are not many. I kno consultants whose pay is under 500 and some 550- 660 or so. These contribute the majority. My people, why do u let govt deceive u? In a pediatric dept in one of these hospitals, they have been requesting a pediatric ventilator, a machine that helps very sick children breath proprly, for over 3yrs. Children die everyday becos this equipment is lacking but ur “CARING” govt doesnt give a damn, cos its poor ppl’s children that die. A certn LAGOS STATE doctor went into premature labor with twins, it took over an hour for a LAGOS STATE AMBULANCE to even come to her aid even as staff of LAGOS STATE. When they finally came, one premature twin had come out and was struggling to breathe. No incubator in the ambulance or hospital. She ended up losing both twins. That is how LAGOS STATE treats LAGOS STATE doctors. Now do u expect that doctor to care about any patient whatever the emergency, when she as staff lost two children to their uncaring attitude? Govt doesnt care about u or i. We r not important. What is important is making money and winning elections. This is just a way to buy cheap popularity. Do u also kno some private ppl n cronies of political bigwigs run their private medical facilities right inside the govt hospitals?

    Please check these facts-take a tour of any govt hospital where buildings are springing up at the speed of light, with a certain company’s logo on their vehicles, you’ll know what i’m talking about

  • risky May 9, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Oh and lest i forget, these private facilities (like labs and certain other investigations) run with cut-throat prices, about 3 to 4 times govt rates. And, you know the joker, patient are forced to go there as the govt facilities have been systematically starved of funds and equipment and run aground, to enable the “investors” capitalize and multiply huge profits. And u think they care about you. What a joke.

  • Gidi May 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

    @Ready, i don’t have to go looking for it. The doctors union should make the information readily available. All we keep hearing is that they are going on strike but they are not telling the public why. How do you expect the public to be on their side? The govt is selling its propaganda.why are the doctors doing a poor job of theirs?

    • peye May 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      go chek my thread aove. the information is ther. the govt agreed to pay a certain amount for 3yrs and they signed it but the doctors aint gettin it simple and they’ve been negotiating fo 3 yrs. it wasn sth dat started yesterday.

    • NK May 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

      It’s only an ignorant person that renders an opinion without accurate information, and sweetie I hate to break it to you, but except your papa go fly you out of 9ja for medical treatment, you do need to research the info and this could affect you more directly than you know. Seriously, stop sounding daft. My dad always says that some people went through school but school never went through them, by ur comment “I should have to research the info” you don’t sound like either u or school went through each other. In civilized community, people research info that will affected whether it is available or not… Finally, FYI the info is available on the internet, ever heard of google or is that also too deep a concept for you to grasp! Honestly I don’t mean to insult you but people like you should probably stick to the wedding and celeb section of this blog !

  • adenike May 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    @Gidi,I agree with you. If the government can sell propaganda,why not work on public sentiments? Feed the public with the truth(if it is the truth though) and let’s see if the government won’t back down. Let them go on strike for better working conditions,improvised/better equipments,better hospitals and trust me, the public will be on your side. Take pictures of your so called bad/ugly hospitals, put a picture of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital next to it and yell “this is how a sane hospital should look like” – trust me,public opinion won’t be divided,we’ll all be on your side.
    On the other hand,spending 7yrs in school is way overrated. Architects don’t yell the way y’all do. Besides,no one forced you to study medicine abeg. I spent 4yrs in school-does that make me unserious? Or did I to school to look at Senate building all through? No profession is superior to another;we all need one another in some way.

    • peye May 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I dont blame u cos u dont understand the workin conditions of these folks. where I finished for in UCH and worked for a while, we have exchange students and doctors from other countries , mostly the US and europe and one of the things they say while making their presentation before leaving is that they can’t believe how people work the way they do in UCH. some people work for 3 days in row without taking a bath and its not exaggerated. and they get a chance to go home on the 4th day at about 7pm and they have to be back by 7am. all those guys are wondering how we work under those conditions and they start telling us how they work in their own place. it will make you mad. cos u’ll discover u are doing the work of 5 people and i heard the workin conditions are poorer in Lagos state hospitals. I mean the patient load is more, the doctors are fewer and the pay is lesser and they aren not earning 170k and UCH will at least give u accommodation, lagos state doesnt give. I feel a documentary have to be done on this thing so people can see. they chose it but they have to be treated right and with respect. all u need is to be close to a doctor who works with the lagos state govt.

  • Mary May 11, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Sacking of 788 Lagos Doctors is not only unjust but also undemocratic. These doctors went on strike because they needed the government to fulfill certain demands for them. How can a doctor that saves peoples lives work for years and but have nothing to show for it. Yet you will see politicians, bankers, e.t.c who do nothing but steal millions get paid more. Doctors need to be paid more than all other jobs because they have the most important job in the world. If this is done then maybe doctors would start doing their jobs better.

  • risky May 11, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Actually some professions are superior to others in. Lagos state. The magistrates and judges who have govt accommodation in high brow ikoyi and lekki while their medical counterparts on the same level , same govt have neither accommodation nor cars are certainly superior or what do u think? The few cars that go to doctors are to the MD’s and of a lower cadre. So a judge gets a jeep which is changed every three yrs, a beyond-civi service pay and a yearly holiday package, while the consultant who has the exact same number of years of service doesn’t even get a car allowance. Same govt. Besides, dont you see how most doctors look? Wretched! And with a mentalty of poverty. Even several of the so-called private clinics are wretched becos banks will never give doctors loans-they think they’re too poor to pay back. No dear, some professions are superior.

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