By Chioma Obinna
The ongoing 10-week-old strike embarked on by the Medical Guild, an association of doctors working under the employment of Lagos State Government, yesterday, took another dimension as members of their parent body, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Lagos branch threatened to begin a 3- day solidarity strike should the state government fail to meet their demands by November 3.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos after an emergency meeting of NMA at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, the aggrieved doctors warned that unless the government changes its stance, all doctors working in Federal public hospitals in the state would withdraw services for three days from Wednesday, November 3 to Friday, November 5, 2010.
Lagos Chairman of NMA, Dr. Edamisan Temiye, alleged that the Lagos State Government had simply ignored the striking doctors and by extension ignoring the wellbeing of the 17 million people in the state.
Temiye explained that the solidarity strike was to sound a note of warning to the state government that the fact that doctors in the federal health institutions are working should not be an excuse for not addressing the crisis.
His said: “Maybe the government feels that since the federal health institutions are working, they can afford not to do any thing. This will be a warning strike.
‘It’s a national issue’
“There is a national council of states where governors meet. The patients that are suffering in Lagos belong to the Federation of Nigeria. They are not foreigners. The president of those people is President Good Luck Jonathan, the health minister is the same.
“We also want them to talk to the state government to address the crises urgently. Government has never said the demands of the doctors are outrageous or not justified.
“If they knew that the demands were justifiable and not outrageous, why don’t they give them what belongs to them?”