More than 200 doctors working for the Lagos State Government and involved in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) have tested positive for the virus.
This was disclosed in a statement by Oluwajimi Sodipo and Ismail Ajibowo, chairman and secretary of the Medical Guild, an association of doctors under the employment of the Lagos State.
The guild, who accused Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu government of painting its members in a bad light over its strike, urged Lagos State to be more committed to the welfare of health workers.
The statement reads in part: “The Guild attempted all within its powers to prevent the strike. We started by drawing the attention of the state government to the fact that more than 200 medical doctors, who are members of the Guild, have been infected with COVID-19.
“Many of them also infected their families with attendant short and long term complications. This is a testament to our desire to serve our patients and our calling.
“The Guild had also been at the forefront of advocating for priority testing for all healthcare workers and patients on admission in hospitals so as to upscale provision of safe medical services.
“These suggestions had been largely jettisoned until the declaration of strike.”
On issues raised about the wages, salaries and emoluments, the guild leaders said this situation has been going on for years without a definitive action from the state government to bridge the gaps between state and federal doctors.
He said: “Apart from the fact that there are security implications of releasing remuneration of employees publicly, the Lagos State Government has maintained that they have no agreement with the COVID-19 volunteers at the isolation centres.
“Hence, the government has been paying any amount deemed fit, usually after agitations. The Federal Government, on the other hand, had earlier engaged the various medical/health associations in discussions and came up with a negotiated agreement.
“We expect the same to be done to our members in Lagos State, especially as we are the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”
Naija News recalls that Lagos doctors on Monday embarked on a three-day warning strike.
According to the Lagos State doctors, they were embarking on the strike after the ultimatum given to the Lagos State Government expired.
He revealed that doctors working in the COVID-19 isolation centres are still being owed two months’ salaries.