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FG hospitals turn back patients in Enugu

ENUGU — It was a tale of woes for patients in Lagos and Enugu yesterday as striking doctors were adamant to continue their strike.

Patients who visited the three Federal Government-owned health institutions in Enugu yesterday for medication were turned back following a one-week sympathy strike embarked upon by the medical  doctors.

Ironically, some of the medical doctors who reported for duties yesterday morning were prevented from rendering  services by officials of Enugu State Chapter of  the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, who went round to enforce the strike order.

The industrial action was ordered by the national leadership of NMA to enable doctors in the federal health institutions  sympathise with their colleagues in Enugu State Government-owned hospitals who had been on strike since December 1, last year.

The affected health institutions are University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital,UNTH,  National Orthopaedic Hospital  and Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, all located in the state.

Medical doctors in the state-owned hospitals proceeded on strike on December 1 following the inability of the state government to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS.

Meanwhile, dental practitioners on the payroll of the state government who had earlier refused to embark on indefinite strike, have also decided to down tools after a 21-day ultimatum issued the state government elapsed.

The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, NAGGMDP, Enugu State branch, said it was now obliged to join the strike.

Lagos doctor continue strike

Contrary to expectations that the striking Lagos doctors would call off their three-week-old strike,  the doctors yesterday announced that the strike continues, urging Lagosians to blame the Lagos State Government for any life lost as a result of the strike.

The doctors, decided to continue the strike when 336 doctors voted for the strike to continue after their congress to review the strike in Lagos. However, only 28 doctors voted against the strike while 11 declined from voting.

It could be recalled that the doctors under auspices of Medical Guild had suspended the 14- week old strike last year but resumed January this year claiming that the State government reneged on the agreement it entered into with them last year.

Addressing journalists in Lagos on the update of the strike, the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian medical Association (NMA), Dr. Temiye Edamisan who demanded  full payment of the Consolidated Salary Structure (CONMESS) argued that about 10 states have already started the payment of CONMESS. Some of the states he mentioned includes; Delta and Rivers States.

He said the government should be hold responsible for thee plight of Lagosians for its irresponsive attitude.
“A good government would also include the doctors in its plans because they are also on the side of patients”.

He however debunked the allegation that Lagos State is being use as a guinea pig in order to achieve the payment of CONMESS in all the 36 states of the federation.

Edamisan who accused the state government of  labeling doctors as traitors stated that resorting to blackmail would only make matters worse because no doctor is earning close to what the government was circulating in the media.

Describing what the state government did was against the Labour Law, he said “Labour law does not permit any government to demote people because of increament in their salary. Consultants in the lowest scale of Federal Government hospitals earn N150, 000, this is more than consultants in the highest scale of the new salary Lagos is trying to implement. I say that is paying doctors slave wages. This will make doctors stagnate at a spot for many years.”

Threatening that NMA may call out it members for a total strike, he warned that “no going back on CONMESS”
Corroborating his views, Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr. Ayobode Williams said they have resolve not to go back to work until CONMESS is implemented 100 per cent and other issues sorted out.


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Posted by on Feb 28 2011. Filed under Enugu, Headlines, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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