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Should the Sacked Doctors be Reinstated? Lagos State Government Indicates Interest in Negotiating with Sacked Doctors

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Barely 24 hours after making the controversial move of sacking 788 striking medical doctors in its employ, the Lagos state government has indicated interest in having negotiations with the sacked doctors.

Speaking to journalists yesterday, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said that “government is still available for negotiation.”

“The issue of negotiation has not been fore-closed; when they are willing, we are willing to dialogue with them, but our first priority is to restore services to the health sector,” he said.

“We are still ready to dialogue with the doctors and even negotiate. We have over time bent and bent to accommodate their demands. Sacking was not a palatable decision for us to take.”

Idris said, “The Minister for Health has called and other stakeholders but I say our doors are still open for dialogue. But the state government reserves the right to sack the doctors and individuals also have the right to go on strike.”

Speaking on the employment of new doctors in the state, the Commissioner said it was a last resolve by the state government since the striking doctors refused to see reason with them and that the newly employed doctors have resumed work.

“The new doctors we recruited would have resumed today. Together with the new doctors that we have, Lagos presently has over 1,000 doctors in its employ and many doctors from all over Nigeria and the world have signified interest to work with us since this dispute and recruitment process began.”

“But we tried not to employ because we were still waiting for them to see reasons with us. We wanted to prevent it but the doctors were adamant.”

Idris said Governor Babatunde Fashola in a meeting with the doctors last week Wednesday had appealed to the doctors who turned deaf ears to his plea.

According to him, the State House of Assembly had also called a meeting with the doctors on Saturday to urge them to resume work but the doctors had shunned all efforts of the state government and dared them to go ahead with any action they deemed fit.

On their part, the Nigerian Medical Association has said that the sack was totally unacceptable. The newly elected National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, and a Consultant Family Physician, Dr. Osahon Enabulele said: “Our position is that the sack is totally unacceptable. It is an in indication of the fact that government did not listen to the voice of reasoning.”

“The earlier we revert to dialogue and drive mission of development in the healthcare, the better for all. The sack order by government is not in the interest of the people of Lagos, the state government and the governor. It is necessary for the government to have a rethink to go back to negotiation table. It is unfortunate that things degenerated to this extent.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Prof David Oke, said this sack means that his hospital has lost a lot of doctors. “It means that we have lost many of our good hands. It’s going to affect services and it means that to an extent it is going to affect the teaching of residents and students in the medical school. But we are putting up contingency plans, such as making a list of consultants/lecturers who were affected by the sack.”

What is unclear however is if the state government’s willingness to negotiate with striking doctors would result in restating the sacked doctors back to their positions. 788 doctors missing from the hospitals would surely create a huge deficit in the health sector that cannot be made up for within a short period. The negotiations might actually be a good move if they would lead to the reversion of the state government’s sack.

What is your own opinion? Should the doctors be restated back to their positions or should the Lagos state government still uphold the dismissal of the doctors?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: Punch | Vanguard | Daily Times

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

37 Comments

  1. idee

    May 9, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Its a welcome decision and this is what should have been done in the first place. No sector should sack over 700 people at once talkless of a sensitive sector as health. I pray they are able to reolve it for the sake of the general public. It was rash on the governor’s part!

  2. EUGENE

    May 9, 2012 at 6:41 am

    The Drs, had no option bt to fall out cz te state was nt gvng thm anytng tangble to negotiate on.

  3. kayode tijani

    May 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Lagos State Government can negotiate and reinstate some of them to serve as deterent to other. There are lots of unemployed Drs in the state.

  4. omotayo

    May 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

    The gov. Should reverse the sack move

  5. jacob

    May 9, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I strongly support governor Fashola because the Doctors were dafts to have gone on strikeof. A lotl of people die daily because they are not attended to by these doctors when they were working come to think of the number of nigerians that have gone within the 3 weeks madness they had. Doctors hold a key place in d country and should not always embark of worthless strike action. Cosider police going on strike and its implication. Doctors and police are of equal importance hence the need to support Fashola to entrench sanity in our land. God bless Fashola God bless Lagos of

    • john

      May 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Pls hoe many drs has your family produced if being a Dr is dt easy?assumin ur parents re Drs and baing deprived of ur right to school cuz dy weren’t paid and they re expected to save lives and not collect salary I’m sure by not u will be a nuisance to the community. So pls being a Dr doesn’t mean I don’t ve blood flowin thru my veins?its a proffeesional job if lagosstate don’t want better offer are out dr. A Dr can neva go hungry bear dt in mind. If ur so called Govt care abt peoples lives why causing more damage?sometimes ago our Gov. Said free health in all general hospitals,dy patients pay thru their nose to get public treatment. Why can’t our politicians donate little out of all lot they earn to help the needy to pervent more death?

    • mimi

      May 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

      seriously? so if you were a doctor and you were not duly paid you would still work? please those people have families okay and with the way nigeria is they need to be duly paid if they are to work! eko ni baje my left foot

    • Ready

      May 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      I love how Nigerians just take huge jumps of assumption whenever they hear the word ‘strike’. From all I’ve read and heard, the issue is not that they’re not being paid duly, it’s that they want more. They asked for a 100% increase and Fashola gave them 75% instead. Let’s get our facts and word usage right, please.

    • peye

      May 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      u kno before u talk go and get information. who told u they demanded for 100% pay rise. there is a recommended amount of money doctors in Nigeria ought to be paid and thats what they call the consolidated medical salary scale CONMESS just like lectures have contiss and lagos state is payin 75% of CONMESS and they have agreed to pay it full for about 2 yrs but they didnt implement it and they’ve been negotiating for over 2 years with no result if you were a doctor what will you do?

  6. abdulkadir ukashat

    May 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I don’t know why we keep having issues like these in nigeria. Issues dat involve d lives of humanbeings are being toy with. Watever u think u are today, president,govnor, senator or doctor etc. has been made possible by God. So, wen u play politics with issues of life n death leading to lost of innocent souls, somedays u wil be answerable to God Almighty. D lagos state govt n its doctors should hv a rethink of their action if they are truly working for the good people of lagos state…..Eko oni baje!

  7. Gidi

    May 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

    How do you negotiate with sacked persons? On what basis is that done?
    This drama is getting boring.

  8. faith

    May 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

    nonsence! na only naija dis kind thing fit happen…

  9. Joksie

    May 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

    My opinion is this, if the doctors are now ready to listen to Gov. Fashola let them respect his call and get back to business. their worthless efforts towards people’s lives is really disgusting. Just about 2days ago there was a report from Lagos state university campus about the negligence of doctors and nurses in the school health centre stating that they have been instructed by the school authority not to attend to any student after 4pm and this led to the death of a 300level student brought for an emergency care. Gov. Fashola please go ahead in your sanctioning of any worker who has refuse to work diligently especially in the health sector they need to understand the importance of thier profession to the nation……….EKO ONI BA JE OOOOO, whosoever that tries to destroy it…………………we will SWEEP THEM AWAY……

  10. clairebaby

    May 9, 2012 at 8:49 am

    “The new doctors we recruited would have resumed today. Together with the new doctors that we have, Lagos presently has over 1,000 doctors in its employ and many doctors from all over Nigeria and the world have signified interest to work with us since this dispute and recruitment process began.”

    “But we tried not to employ because we were still waiting for them to see reasons with us. We wanted to prevent it but the doctors were adamant.”

    Yeah rite! Blah blah blah! The ‘newly employed doctors’ cannot and will not start work because the NMA has banned them from taking the offer. And who are they decieving by saying doctors from all over the world are clamouring to work in nigeria? Most doctors want to leave nigeria because the work environment is crap, the equipment is from the stone age and the salary is even greater crap!!!
    So they should just give the doctors want they want and call it a day.

    • NK

      May 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      The whole this is so funny, but they can dispense such BS because they know their people will neither research no questions such dumbass comments, that’s why you see all these ridiculous comments against doctors here. The problem with most Nigerians is that when our neighbors house is on fire, we look away forgetting that the fire is heading to our house next, and that we will need our neighbor to help put it out. People say doctors should keep quiet and get back to work, wait till its their turn to ask for their pay? God help Nigeria!

  11. Ayaba

    May 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

    That’s good but only if the Drs are willing to get back to work.

  12. christy

    May 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Am so getting boring with BN site, wit this national news.if I want news I know were to read them,I prefer entertainment news here,my best blog.

    • BettyB

      May 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

      If only BN would listen! We don’t come to BN to read regurgitated news articles, that we can read anywhere else. We come for the exclusive wedding pictures, unique features, Prose articles and features from other writer. Now BN seems to be full of uninteresting article and “fabulous” music from every tom,dick and Harry.

    • pynk

      May 9, 2012 at 11:47 am

      They better sit down and negotiate with the doctors. If their pay is subpar, bring it up to standard fashola. Lagos generates IGR, make use of it. Stop funding Tinubu’s birthday and other riff raffry. And no we are not under dictatorship rule, so the military mindset must go.

    • pynk

      May 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

      they needed the traffic, the site was getting ready to die a slow death because the wedding pictures werent as forthcoming.

    • kumzy

      May 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      I dont normally comment but I’m sorry to say that u truly exposed your ignorance…yes I agree BN is an entertainment website and it does that job well but people like u!!! need to know what’s also going on in their country a sit may save u one day and BN is doing u that HUGE favour!!

    • BettyB

      May 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      What’s with the name calling? There are ways to disagree without being insultive please. Now if you read and understood my comment you will note that i said “regurgitated news, that we can read else where”. I do not come to BN to read the same news i recently read elsewhere.When i want to read the news, i head to new website!When it come to entertainment BN is top but am sorry to say their news features are not the best and lacking in quality. BN can put up what ever features they like, its their site. But as a reader i have the right to express my views.

  13. prijes

    May 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    GRF…Please restore d docs..www.9janewsmag.com

  14. LPS

    May 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

    @ faith I concur. Very unfair!

  15. Chynadollng

    May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

    @Clairebaby….equipment is from stone age….
    i have never heard that the doctors are fighting the govt for money to change these equipments…they fight for only salary increment.
    I just don’t understand it….when they are @work, people r dying..talk less of when they r on strike!!!didn’t they swear an oath?(or what’s that thing they do called)
    Joksie, i agree… EKO ONI BA JE OOOOO, whosoever that tries to destroy it…………we will SWEEP THEM AWAY…O BAJE TI!

  16. clairebaby

    May 9, 2012 at 10:54 am

    @ Chynadoling, the truth is that (n) matter what, the govt has to agree to the doctors’ wish because the NMA has banned ALL LiCENSED doctors from working for the lagos state govt, so unless gov fashola employs babalawos and herbalists, I can’t see how the hospitals would be run.

    And pls save the argument of saving lives, the lagos state doctors are overworked and underpaid. They work times 5 harder than their federal hospital counterparts. There are even tales of them collapsing while working. Fashola should increase their pay and employ more hands! The thief! He claims to give lagosians free health care! All lies! Look @ how much money fashola spent on tinubu’s birthday and other frivolous nonsense. Nigeria is the only country where precedence is not given to health, education and security. So instead of critisizing the doctors, open ur eyes and smell the stench that is nigeria and attack ur stupid, corrupt leaders.

    And I’m sorry for those supporting him, just get ready to take your sick relatives to private hospitals and we would know whether you can afford to pay one-tenth of what they charge you. The doctors are called to save lives but not to the detriment of their health and their families.

    • kumzy

      May 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Thank u jare Clairebaby…honestly my people are truly destroyed for lack of knowledge…..I am a medic myself ans I know plenty of medics that have moved abroad just because of the terrible working conditions in naija…u r frustrated at every angle…If u are a good person trying to do a good job and u are frustrated at every angle, one day u will burn now…medics spend forever in uni esp with strikes and all that only to come to terrible working conditions and pay!!! THAT IS NOT FAIR….all those of u scremaing “Eko o ni baje”..e.ven me too I have “EKO o ni baje” shirt…but please scream at the right people instead of condemning people who are trying to fight for their right…..They may have not done things the best way but maybe this was the only way they felt would work for them……It is unfortunate people died as a result of the strike but if the government had negotiated with those DRs, it would not have come to that. GBAM!!

    • peye

      May 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      people collapsing isnt a tale o. you need to see the work and kno why its dat way. I saw one of my pregnant classmates walkin to and fro. I wont be surprised if she collapsed, I know of another one who collapsed and I was in theatre when a senior colleague collapsed, these are the ones I know o.

  17. buchi

    May 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “…..Now BN seems to be full of uninteresting article and “fabulous” music from every tom,dick and Harry.” @BettyB LMAO! This music matter don tire me too. All sorts!

  18. sunbo

    May 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    who would you rather believe? a politician or a doctor.788 doctors cannot be wrong. NMA cannot be wrong. Is it a politician that hs zobo running through his vain you want to belive or a doctor that has blood running through his vain? Politicians will always be politician, no matter what he front to be.Everybody that is commenting on this issue should try to understand what is happening before you give comment. BN…..well done but you need to interview doctors too for there to be a flow. for people to understand what is actually going on.

  19. temi

    May 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    @ mimi and john you’ve communicated my thoughts. To jacob and the rest of you talking out of ignorance,it’s so obvious u don’t even have a nurse in your family let alone a doctor. Go and ask how much it money and effort it takes to train a doctor through school,I’m sure in 10years from now you can’t make such amount of money yet you open your mouths to say the doctors should be sacked. Go abroad and you will see that they don’t have a lot of doctors even though they have better amenities. Our doctors are struggling to make a living in their own country and they just ask for their lives to be improved and the silly lots called govt decided to sack them. It shows the level of selfishness and dishonesty. Where on earth does that happen. As for the govenor of lagos state,u are a big dissapointment. Remember it’s the same docs that make up the majority of lagosians who casts their votes for you. Even though you won through so much rigging and all,the people still had faith in you now you have come to show that you were not worth it. So much for your hypocritical slogan “eko oni baje”. Se ko ti baje sin?

  20. NK

    May 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    These issue has been going on for how many years now and now Lagos State governor is interested in negotiation, how backward are we? Was this what he was suppose to do years ago, but he had to take the barbaric step of firing them first, seriously the level of visionless leaders in Nigeria is very scary! I hope something good comes of out of this negotiation, this owe situation does not encourage people going into the medical field at all, except Nigerians are looking to start visiting babalawos for check up, lol! So sad, yet funny!

  21. christy

    May 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Is dere any anger management class n naija? @Kumzy pls visit one

    • kumzy

      May 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      excuse me? Did I mention ur name? Am I fighting with you? please make your opinion and stop calling my name thanks

  22. marvel

    May 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    The whole population gan should be forced on anger management. It is getting worse!

  23. Dr. Ben

    May 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I am not a Lagos doctor, but where I work, I have not gone on leave for several years because of the patients. No time to see my parents, siblings, attend burial of friends and relatives and weddings of close friends. I’ve lost many friends who think that I’m only pretending to be busy meanwhile I see patients every other day that can only be equated to church session. Many people cannot sit near an HIV positive patient, but these are the people I put hands in their blood everyday during surgery, and their blood splash  M̶̲̥̅γ̲̣̣̥ face, into my eyes & mouth, and I endure because I won’t abandon them to die. I risk my own life and my family’s life everyday to care for others. What I get as hazard allowance monthly is only N5000 !! If I ask my employer to keep an agreement we’ve had to help me feed my family, is that too much to ask?

  24. TRUTHH

    May 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Gov Fashola, you made a wrong decision. You don’t sack them in the first place, you should negotiate with them. These doctors are not asking for too much looking at the how much they go out of that way to treat and help these patients. We all know the healthcare system in Nigeria is a failed one. So, instead of blaming these doctors, you guys should work to improve the healthcare system, medical equipments which will make these doctor’s job easier. The Nigerian government should learn how to take responsibility for the issues in Nigeria.

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