Dr Majekodunmi Ayodele, the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti has called on the Federal Government to sponsor a bill to make industrial actions by medical workers illegal.
Ayodele urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set machinery in motion for the restructuring of the health sector by prohibiting medical personnel, whom he said offer essential services, from embarking on strike.
He made the call even as he lamented loss of lives owing to incessant nationwide strike action by doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).
Currently, resident doctors are on strike to press home for full implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale and commencement of payment for the skipping of Consolidated Health Salary Scale 2 to members, as directed by the Federal Government.
Ayodele, however, pleaded with the doctors in the Federal Teaching Hospital to show understanding, saying “the templates for the implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and payment for skipping Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) 2 have not been released by Federal Government, let alone releasing money for their payments.”
He added that “it seems as if the medical officers, including doctors, nurses and others are addicted to strike and this is killing the system.”
“In 2014, doctors went on strike for over four months while JOHESU was on strike for about six months. Out of about 360 working days, hardly did they come to work for their legitimate duties for 120 days” he said.
He also addressed the rumours of the funding for CONHESS 2 and CONMESS saying:
“Let me also add that this rumour going rounds that the funding for CONHESS 2 and CONMESS had been factored into the 2015 Budget is not true. It is saddening that we are losing lives here on daily basis and we plead with our colleagues to resume to work. They must show understanding and patriotism,”
Ayodele assured the workers that all their entitlements and arrears of unpaid benefits will be paid, insisting that the option of strike is counter-productive and not in the interest of the Nigerian populace.