By Chioma Obinna
It is not acceptable — Doctors
LAGOS — In a desperate move to end the ongoing industrial action called by medical doctors under the employment of the state, the state government, yesterday, adjusted its salary structure for medical and dental officers in the state. The new adjustment is the second time in one week.
With the new salary structure, a consultant in the state will receive N700,015.50 as take home pay every month while a new entraint will be getting N207,629.75.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting it had Tuesday with the leadership of the striking doctors, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the new wage bill had met the 90 to 95 per cent of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, being demanded by the doctors.
In a swift reaction to the new adjusted salary structure, members of the Medical Guild said it was not acceptable to them, claiming that the circular was not in conformity with CONMESS.
Idris who said government was doing all it could to resolve the problem as quickly as possible also claimed that the government has addressed some of the grey areas which the doctors pointed out in the initial improved salary structure for workers.
“We are appealing to them to call off the strike. The difference between what they are asking for is just less than N80,000 or less than N50.000 or more. Compare to what they were earning before, may be about N300,000 or more. We are even thinking that this is not the end. There are other things government is planning for them. We are even looking into the issue of housing.
We have already distributed cars to them. The nurses also have issues but they have not called for strike. This is just an appeal again to them, they should call off the strike to reduce the sufferings on the masses while we continue to negotiate,” Idris said.
It’s not enough – Doctors
Reacting to the claims, Secretary, Association Resident Doctors, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH-ARD, Dr. Saheed Babajide, said the new structure was not acceptable as it was not in conformity with CONMESS.
“The circular I just collected an hour ago is not in conformity with CONMESS. It is not acceptable to us. CONMESS is not just about salary increase but a uniformity that would encourage Nigerian doctors to work anywhere in Nigeria. Whether you are in the village or anywhere in the country, as long as you are a doctor, your salary must be in conformity with your contemporaries any where in the country.
“With what they say they will pay, the highest hierarchy of doctors which is the consultants will be paid N700,000 while their contemporaries in the federal service are being paid N801,000 monthly. It is unacceptable. If they can adjust to N700,000, we believe they can do it.”