Hope of patients to continue to access healthcare in any of the Lagos State and Federal government-owned hospitals has suffered another set back as the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, alleged attempts by the state government to back out of yet another agreement that would resolve the lingering crisis in the state health sector.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, the state Chairman NMA, Dr. Edamisan Temiye, said the much expected positive developments that would have brought expected solution to the impasse suffered a set back which may be taking the parties back to square one.
Temiye disclosed that the agreement was reached after a prolonged meeting of the Federal House of Representative’s House Committee on Health, State House Committee on Health, medical elders and the striking doctors Wednesday last week.
He expressed worry over the state government’s attitude towards honouring the agreement, regretting that such action would negatively impact on governance in the state.
His said: “The House Committee came, Monday, mainly because of the actions that are taking place in the Federal health institutions. However, on Wednesday, they came back and eventually they met the Lagos State Government. After meeting with them and the Lagos State House committee on health, they eventually met with us and that meeting lasted till about midnight.”
Temiye added: “There were some understanding that was reached at that meeting and the house committees were supposed to go back to the government and then get back to us which they actually did on Thursday evening.
“And from what we got from that, there were some positive developments. However, by Saturday, what we felt was a positive development had disappeared.”
So we are back to square one.”
Asked to be more specific about the details of the agreement, he said: “Between the house committees, the House of Representatives, the state house committee, the medical elders who are also politicians and us, having heard from the government, we were able to iron out a lot of differences that was between us. Issues were laid on what are the true positions of things agreed upon.
“That caused us to write an agreement with them. Then, we wrote a letter to the governor to intervene and stop what was going on and they took the letter to the governor. From the report they gave us, we were expecting a positive response from the Lagos State government.”