You Are Blackmailers, Lagos Tells Striking Doctors
Doctors in Lagos State entered its second day yesterday, the state government accused the Doctors of blackmail.
The state government alleged that the Striking Doctors Are protecting their personal investments in private hospitals while mounting pressures on it to address the issue of allowances.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji described the doctors' demands as unfounded, pointing out that the government was the first in the country to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale Structure (CONMESS).
"These Doctors Are just out to blackmail Lagos residents so that they will continue to be above the rules. Lagosians should, therefore, rise up because the Doctors Are being paid with taxpayers' money, and the taxpayers Are really sweating. They should prevail on the Doctors to go back to work," he said.
Raji said the Doctors Are also demanding that House Officers on grade levels 10 and 12 be paid teaching allowance, a provision which, according to him, is not part of CONMESS. He said if the Doctors can provide evidence that such allowance is part of CONMESS, the government will implement it.
"The doctors, from our findings, Are just bent on going on strike probably to protect personal investments in their poorly equipped private hospitals, and that is what Lagosians should brace up for. When You complain that somebody who is on Grade Level 15 is not on step 04, that his entry point should be Grade Level 15 step 04, I mean Lagosians Are wiser," he said.
On what the government plans to do to keep the hospitals working while the strike lasts, the Special Adviser said even within the Medical Guild, there Are several doctors, who Are not part of the strike because they Are not happy with the situation.
Raji said the government has "willing" hands who Are ready to ensure that Lagos hospitals function.
He however added that the government is ready to meet with the Doctors when they change what he described as their recalcitrant position.
Reacting to the government's position on the strike, Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote in an interview with our correspondent, said the government should stop deceiving the public and meet the demands of the doctors, adding that the issue had dragged on for too long.
Odusote said the state government is playing to the gallery and running away from the real issue.
"How can the government say we Are selfish? We Are not asking for anything than what they agreed to pay us. It is the people who like to deceive others that will come out to say Doctors Are selfish. The issue at stake has nothing to do with greed; if anybody is greedy, it is the government officials. They agreed to a salary scale, yet, they refused to pay. We do more work than other Doctors in the country. The template of our remuneration should be that of Doctors in Federal Government hospitals.
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