Lagos State Government reversed its dismissal of 788 doctors in its employ.
The state government, through the Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe, said in a statement on May 6 that the decision to sack the doctors resulted from their refusal to answer the queries issued to them to explain why they were absent from work without observing the rules and regulations guiding strikes and industrial actions in the state public service.
Governor Babatunde Fashola, who jointly addressed journalists with his predecessor, Chief Bola Tinubu, on Thursday said the decision became necessary after consultation with leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria, the Nigerian Labour Congress and other groups.
He said, “One could not hear those appeals and also the appeals of the ordinary people of the state and remains unmindful of them. And it is in that light that I have consulted with the Health Service Commission and they have assured me that the issue of dismissal will be reversed immediately.”
Fashola directed the doctors to resume work immediately.
He said, “I will like to thank the party and our leaders, all the well- meaning people on both sides and leaders of labour organisations, especially the NLC, for playing intercessory role in this matter and choosing to mediate rather than to take sides.
“The issues are disputes about institutions and nothing more and how we could work together to provide better health care. It is now left for the doctors to return to their locations and to regularise their status with the HSC.”
Tinubu said he had been meeting with the governor at the prompting of the ACN.
He said, “I brought the appeal of the leadership of the party and well-meaning Nigerians and other organisations who are committed to the welfare of our people for him to be more flexible and look at the issue of the doctors critically.
“I have not seen the problem where we don’t have solution; he has agreed to suspend the dismissal and advise that they should go back to their work.”
Tinubu added, “I don’t want to comment further until all parties respect this outcome.
“He has repeated it several times that the hiring and firing of the doctors is in the hands of the HSC, I am very much aware of it and I have spoken with the commissioner concerned and I don’t see any area that is irresolvable.”
Also, the Senate Committee on Thursday held a crucial meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors on Thursday, with a view to prevent the doctors from continuing with their warning strike.
President of the association, Chidozie Achonwa, during meeting said although he heard in the news that the sacked Lagos doctors had been recalled on the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan, the association would need to confirm the report before taken any action.
He accused the National Assembly of not intervening in the plight of the Lagos doctors.
The National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has described the reversal as a victory for the medical profession.
Enabulele told our correpondent on telephone on Thursday that the reinstatement of the doctors was the collective effort of various unions,organisations and individuals who mounted pressure on the state government.”
Also, Association of Resident Doctors (Abuja branch) on Thursday said the 34 doctors who were recalled after alleged apology to the Lagos State Government would be sanctioned by the national secretariat.
The Chairman of ARD, Dr. Noel Arua, at a press briefing said that already health services in the nation’s capital had begun to suffer from the on-going faceoff engendered by the sacking of 788 doctors in the state.