The Lagos State Government has urged striking doctors under the aegis of the Medical Guild to return back to work.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso late night Monday, states that a joint meeting between the Honourable Commissioners for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle and the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola as well as all the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Health, Establishment and Information, held on Sunday July 12, with the Medical Guild, Association of Resident Doctors and relevant stakeholders on the proposed warning strike.
The meeting according to him was convened at the instance of the Hon. Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions with the representatives of the Medical Guild, National Association of Residents Doctors (NARD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) branch and other relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the issues underlying the strike called by the Medical Guild.
He said: “It is pertinent to note that the state government extreme disappointment that the Guild continued with their warning strike despite a series of engagements with the aimed at resolving some of the grievances raised, ranging from issues that affects their safety and welfare.
“Many issues have already been resolved, whilst unresolved issues are still being deliberated upon. It is worrisome that some members of this noble profession would down tool at a time when their services are mostly required. We believe this action is insensitive and lacks empathy which our profession epitomizes. The state government therefore requests that members of the Medical Guild who embarked on a three day warning strike today (Monday) to return back to work.
“It is therefore imperative to correctly state the facts and action on the major issues raised by the Guild with respect to some issues affecting the frontline and indeed all health care personnel.”
Omotoso also reiterated that the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been extremely supportive of health workers being mindful of the extreme sacrifices that healthcare professionals are demonstrating in the COVID-19 response.
“We are currently rotating our health workers who are engaged in providing care at the isolation facilities. They are not being dismissed, this is wrong information. Healthcare professionals are returning to their primary posting for the following reasons: to reduce fatigue and burn out amongst health workers, to build capacity for treatment of COVID19 across the health work force as well as ensure that as many health workers as possible benefit from the additional allowances.
While urging the Guild to continue to take full advantage of the dispute resolution processes provided by the State to resolve all issues bearing in mind that these are unusual times for the nation and the entire world, he stated: “the state government will continue to play its part in ensuring the battle over COVID-19 is won.
“The government therefore wishes to assure citizens that while negotiation is ongoing, services at all state-owned health facilities can still be accessed.”