Lagos doctors commend Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s intervention on industrial disharmony

Doctors in Lagos State declared on Tuesday that healthcare delivery in the state would improve since government acceded to their demands.

Operating on the platform of the Medical Guild, the doctors commended the critical step taken by the state government.

Chairman of the Guild, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the guild support continuous engagements to resolve issues rather than embarking on strike.

He added that doctors in the guild were ever willing to provide options that would enhance healthcare service delivery.

“Part of our mantra is continuous engagement contrary to the image created for us in the past as people who just want to go on strike.

“We are always ready to provide solutions in terms of options.

“Once that is in place, everyone benefits because we have a good working environment; workforce with good morale and the ultimate beneficiaries are the good people of Lagos state.

“The people will now enjoy good healthcare services that they deserve,’’ he said.

Sodipo said that the guild would work with relevant ministries to ensure speedy implementation of the approval given by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

He added that the implementation would bolster the confidence of everyone involved in the process.

NAN reports that on Aug. 1, the guild appealed to the state government to rescind its decision to remove resident and NYSC doctors from the state’s scheme of service.

It also appealed that the challenge of unresolved salary disparity between doctors working for the state government and their federal counterparts be urgently resolved.

Following an impasse on the issues, there had been fears that doctors might down tools following a congress of the guild on Aug. 29.

The congress, however, decided to issue a 21-day ultimatum to the government to accede to the doctors’ demands.

A speedy intervention by Gov. Sanwo-Olu who held a meeting with leaders of the guild and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Association of Residents Doctors (LASUTH-ARD) on Sept. 6 averted a possible strike.

LASUTH-ARD had on Sept. 3, said that its members might not resume work even if the on-going nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria ended.

Dr Azeez Ojekunle, President, LASUTH-ARD said that the strike might linger if the state government did not expedite action to meet its demands.

He said, however, said that the association was willing to resume negotiations to ensure resolution of the industrial disharmony.

A statement issued on Monday by Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said that Gov. Sanwo-Olu had concurred to the demands of the doctors.

Omotoso said that a follow-on circular by the Head of Service (HOS) clarifying the implications of the removal of resident and NYSC Doctors from the Scheme of Service was agreed.

He said that the circular would allay any fears that might have arisen from the misinterpretation of the previous circular.

The commissioner said that the state government also approved full implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act.

He said that the Act was in support of both the examination and update courses that lead to qualification as specialists in various fields of medicine.

Omotoso added that the government also approved the recruitment of 150 new resident doctors and medical officers to improve the patient-doctor ratio in state hospitals.

He said also that government already approved the building of the Medical Residents Quarters at LASUTH, and other medical staff quarters across the state.

The commissioner said that Sanwo-Olu also approved the final tranche of 25 per cent differential to complete the harmonisation in the remuneration packages discrepancy between doctors in the state and their federal counterparts.

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