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Planned Doctors’ Strike: Lagos To Implement “No Work, No Pay” Rule

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

As doctors prepare for a nationwide strike, the Lagos State Government has warned doctors under its employment not to join its counterpart in federal hospitals in the strike as government will implement the ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola

According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba, “the State Government will not hesitate to maintain “a no work no pay” policy for workers who refuse to report at their duty post as at when scheduled.”

Ibirogba said government saw no reason why doctors under the employ of Lagos State should join a federal strike by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), stressing that any employee who abandoned his duty post without reasonable cause would be taken to have repudiated his contract of employment and would be held fully liable for the consequences of his or her actions.

He posited that the State Government had a duty to ensure that health service delivery to the people was not disrupted as there should be no reason for disruption of medical service in Lagos State in view of the fact that Lagos State Government had been implementing infrastructural development and capacity building in its health sector.

The commissioner appealed to the doctors to disassociate themselves from any planned strike action by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) or any other organization in the overall interests of the people of Lagos and their medical ethics.

Speaking in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday, Ibirogba noted that any industrial action by doctors would bring untold hardship to the people and could result in avoidable deaths of patients who would require their services.

He said that the nature of the work of doctors did not permit them to embark on industrial disputes without recourse to its implication on the society; saying “workers in the health sector are statutorily classified as offering ‘essential services’ and there are laid down process and procedures before embarking on such action”.

Recounting the negative implication of such strikes in the past, he said illegal strikes had in the past caused untold sufferings, injury and death to innocent patients who were abandoned without any warning and warned that the State Government will not hesitate to apply the Law to its fullest on erring officers in order to protect the interest of innocent citizens.

He believed that since the Lagos State Government had no dispute declared against it by its employees, whatever NMA had against the Federal Government should not be extended to Lagos State adding that issues the National body has with Federal Government should be ironed out with the Federal Government without allowing it to affect Lagosians.

Ibirogba explained that Lagos State had an approved pay policy structure which would be used to review pay structure for workers in the State as internally generated revenue increases, adding that disrupting current wage plan will affect all other professional groups.

He drew the attention of the doctors to sections 118, 209 and 210 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State which state that it is an offence to maliciously break a contract of service knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of doing so will endanger human life or seriously endanger public health.

He, therefore, appealed to the doctors to use other means to redeem their demand other than the Strike Action, as lives lost during the period of the industrial actions can never be brought back.

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