Following the sack of 788 medical Doctors in Lagos state by the Lagos state government, there has been reactions from different quarters over the action of the government and its effect on the state.
Reacting to the plea from different quarters that the government should create room for negotiation, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris had reacted on behalf of the government, stating that an appeal is possible, but negotiation is totally out of the matter as it stands now.
He said “A dismissed officer cannot negotiate under the civil service rule. The only option open to them is to appeal through their employers, Health Service Commission, HSC, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH and the state governor has the final say.
“We have had people in the past who were dismissed and that dismiss was presented by their employers that is the Health Service Commission and the Lagos University Teaching Board. There is still room for appeal and that will go as far as the governor.”
However, Idris explained, “The state government has an important responsibility, which is to provide healthcare for the residents of state. That is the focus of the state government now and sacking the doctors is one aspect of it.”
According to Idris, “The decision of the state government to sack the 788 doctors was not a palatable one if one considers the history of how the strike started and all the effort the state government made in order to prevent it.
“But the bottom line of this one is that we have people who entered the service under specific rules and regulation. This were people whom when they took their decision, they were warned that the rules and regulation which they signed onto when they were employed by the state government would be referred to.
“According to the law, the state government reserves the right to formulate policies affecting the entire civil servants. And once one allows these rights to hit into the fabric of discipline and the fabric that binds together the civil service, then there would be chaos.
“This decision is not the end to strike in the health sector, everyone has the right to embark on strike while the state government also has the right to decide the policies on certain issues.”
“As it is now, we still have a thousand of doctors’ still working in the state owned hospitals. The new doctors had their orientation programme yesterday and they are currently been deployed to the entire state owned hospitals and there are plans to recruit more doctors to further increase provision of healthcare in the state.”