ADDRESS THE DEMANDS OF OUR MEMBERS TO PREVENT AN AVOIDABLE ESCALATION- NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION TELLS LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
The Nigerian Medical Association Lagos branch has called on the State Government to address the demands of the Lagos State employed doctors who are currently on a three-day warning strike.
The NMA in a press release appreciated the Lagos State Government for seeking to dialogue with the striking doctors. However, it frowned at what it described as “the use of unflattering language” employed in the statement issued to the public.
The NMA said the tone and use of the language of the government “betrays an intention to antagonise rather than seek to dialogue with the Medical Guild.”
The medical association pointed out that the Medical Guild is an affiliate member of the NMA and therefore has their support.
“We wish to reiterate to the Lagos state government that the Medical Guild as an affiliate of the NMA is entitled to and has been reassured of the support of NMA,” it said.
However, in the interest of the public, the NMA hopes both parties would go back to the negotiation under an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill.
The Doctors in Lagos State under the aegis of the Medical Guild embarked on a three-day warning strike that expires on Wednesday, July 13, over issues concerning their welfare and safety.
Below is the press release issued by the Lagos Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association.
PRESS RELEASE OF THE NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LAGOS ON THE STRIKE CALLED BY THE MEDICAL GUILD AND THE POSTURE OF LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
The NMA has closely monitored the developments surrounding the ongoing industrial dispute between Lagos state employed doctors under the auspices of the Medical Guild and Lagos state Government. We are aware of the extension of the ultimatum set by the Medical Guild for the LASG to address her demands. Indeed, we were optimistic the window would be explored by both parties to critically and dispassionately address the demands of the Medical Guild.
Sadly, that was not the case. The Medical Guild declared a three day warning strike on the Monday..after what appeared to be an unwillingness of the Lagos state government to address her demands.
It is however curious that the same strike action elicited a rather robust response from the LASG in the form of a press release.
Why was the two week window not explored for robust engagements with the Medical Guild in order to avert this avoidable disruption of the health system in the state?
While the efforts of the LASG in responding to the demands of the press release are noteworthy, the use of unflattering language in the said release betrays an intention to antagonise rather than seek to dialogue with the Medical Guild. Words are powerful which makes the carefully use of them imperative.
We hope both parties will go back to the negotiation under an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill.
The hitherto goodwill enjoyed by the LASG among her doctors was seriously damaged by reports of the unceremonious disengagement of doctors working in isolation centres and their summary eviction from their hotel accommodation without thoughts to the danger they might constitute to their loved ones if they returned home without being properly screened for Covid 19. This is just one of the several grievances of the Medical Guild.
We wish to reiterate to the Lagos state government that the Medical Guild as an affiliate of the NMA is entitled to and has been reassured of the support of NMA.
While we do not wish for an escalation of the ongoing dispute in order not to jeopardise the healthcare of Lagosians, we, however, have, as stated above, obligations to the Medical Guild.
We, therefore, appeal to the Lagos state government to speedily and holistically address the demands of our members in order to prevent an avoidable escalation.