Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lagos Doctors Resume Strike

Lagos State doctors under the auspices of Medical Guild and the Association of Resident Doctors Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Branch (LASUTH-ARD) yesterday resumed their suspended 14 weeks old strike.

The decision to resume the strike was unanimously voted for shortly after a congress of the striking doctors in Lagos, Friday.

In swift reaction to the development, the elders of the medical profession under the aegis of Elders Forum condemned the resumption of the suspended strike by the doctors, saying “their actions are unethical, faceless and unbecoming of thorough – bred medical professionals who are purely opportunists and blackmailers.”

Briefing journalists on the commencement of the strike, shortly after the congress, the president of the Medical Guild, Dr. Saheed Babajide, said the decision of the doctors to resume the suspended strike was borne out of dissatisfaction occasioned by government’s insensitivity and failure to honour its promise as contained in the agreement reached with the doctors in November 2010.

Out of 176 doctors in attendance, 143 voted in support of the strike action and 27 voted against, while 16 abstained from voting.

Justifying their reasons for the strike action, the president said the guild had done its part to ensure peace only for the government to renege on its promise.

The Elders Forum at a separate press conference tagged, “One strike too many”. yesterday in Lagos, alleged that the young doctors have reduced the ethics of the medical profession to nothing and vowed to stop them this time.

The Forum said, “The time has come for us the elders of the profession to speak out. We can no longer allow these junior doctors to bring to nothing our dearly oath to protect and care for our patients. It is a sober moment but we have to rise up to the occasion and save our profession. Unfortunately, majority of patients are poor Nigerians who cannot afford to fly out of this country for medical treatment.

We will take it up with them. It is time to stop incessant strikes in the state.” Fielding questions from journalists, the spokesperson of the group, Dr. Ore Falomo, declared the strike as illegal, just as he alleged that there was no prior notice to their employer before going back to the strike, against labour laws of a week or two weeks notice to the employer.

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