The Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Tope Ojo, has given the Lagos State government a 21-day ultimatum within which to pay the August and September 2014 salaries of doctors under its employ or face strike.
Ojo in a statement on Sunday said if the government did not heed the demands of the association and the Medical Guild, doctors working in public hospitals in the state would withdraw their services.
It will be recalled that the Lagos State Government had withheld the emoluments of its doctors for the month of August and September under its no work, no pay policy when doctors in its employ participated in a nationwide strike called by the national leadership of the NMA. He stated, “The Medical Guild will proceed to withdraw their services after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum, if all issues are not resolved. The Lagos NMA will withdraw its services from all institutions in the state seven days if all issues remain unresolved.
“We strongly advise that the state government should embrace amicable resolution of our demands to avoid impending crisis in the heath sector of the state.” He said that all the states of the federation and the FCT had complied with the general agreement that salaries should be paid to doctors who participated in the NMA strike for peace and further negotiations except the Lagos State.
Ojo noted that only doctors were been singled out for the no work , no pay policy of the government as members of the other professional associations including the Academic Staff Union were paid their salaries in spite of the fact that they had embarked on a six-month nationwide strike last year. He noted, “The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University chapter, lecturers in the state polytechnic and judiciary workers in the state did not suffer the same fate following the suspension of their industrial action last year. Their salaries were not withheld. We don’t want to believe that the governor is being unfair to doctors.” Ojo said that the association had met with the House of Assembly, the Commissioner for Health and had sent several letters to the governor for a peaceful resolution all to no avail.