No Work, No Pay for Striking Doctors, Fashola Insists (allAfrica.com)

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  • March 19, 2015
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Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday insisted that his government would still apply the ‘no work, no pay’ policy on the striking doctors in public hospitals whose action has entered third day.
He also said he was very fulfilled and happy to take his exit from governance because he has succeeded in delivering all electoral promises made to the people in eight years.
Fashola spoke at the commissioning of the newly built cardiac and renal centre at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos.
He disclosed that the state government was not owing any doctor his legitimately earned salary but the decision not to pay striking workers is not a policy of his government “but one that was enacted by a Federal Act”.
Fashola explained that the said salary which the doctors were demanding was not earned and so not legitimate.
“Doctors should understand that the issue about doctors who go on strike is not my choice. It is a provision of the Trade Dispute Act. It prescribes very clearly that if people go on strike, they will not be entitled to pay.
“They must also understand that the period when they went on strike was when we had Ebola. That was when we needed them most.
“That was the period when doctors who have no stake in this country, foreigners, came to serve. Those who own this country did not serve and so, we did not owe them for any period they went on strike,” he stated.
The governor, however, emphasised that “the doctors know we have paid them for January and February and by the policy on ground, we will pay them for March up to the period that they stopped working.”
He therefore appealed to the striking doctors to return to work warningthat “otherwise, we will be compelled again to apply the law. They just cannot get paid for work that they did not do.”
Fashola revealed that the Cardiac Centre built by government was being managed by a team of concessionaire, Tamda Renescor, who won the bid for five years, renewable on performance.
The governor recounting his achievements noted: “With five Independent Power Plants in Akute, Lagos Island, Alausa Ikeja, Mainland GRA and Lekki, 10 brand new maternal and child centres with 100 beds each, a new school of nursing in Igando-Alimosho, Primary Health Centres in Epe with 24 hour lighting by solar, a light rail system whose construction is making progress in spite of huge odds, represent some of our problem solving interventions that have shown the difference between us and an amateurish government led by the PDP.
“Today, my chest is pumped up, my head raised, my heart is full of pride and I can say thank you, and very well done to our team, as we open the Gbagada Cardiac and Renal Hospital to serve our people,” he stated.
He said the state had to take the lead to construct the new Cardiac Centre in 2008 after the news broke that former Head of State, Umar Musa Yar’Adua, was flown abroad for kidney related ailment.
Fashola said: “The turning point was when we exported President Yar’Adua to a Saudi Arabia hospital to manage a kidney ailment.
“It was a low point for us because we have it on good authority that the Saudi hospital was built by Nigerian doctors who left the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in the 80s.
“The honourable Commissioner for Health informed me that there were up to 20,000 Nigerian medical personnel, who were living and working overseas.
“Many of them, whom I met on my travels, complained that they wanted to come home and practise but there was no hospital comparable to where they were accustomed to working. I told them, we will do something.”
He also revealed that between 2008 and 2014, 42 cardiac cases and 28 renal cases benefitted from government’s overseas sponsorship while 11 others were sponsored for transplant at Saint Nicholas, a private hospital in Lagos.
He described the new cardiac centre as an edifice that is comparable to those found elsewhere overseas.
“We now have a hospital that has 24 dialysis bed stations, 20 beds for recovery and general ward use, two high dependency wards with five beds each for patients in intensive care, five beds for patients in intensive care, four post surgery beds for patients who just finished surgery, two post cathlab beds, two surgical theatres built to the most contemporary standard to cater for people who are critically ill.
“There are lecture rooms for students, but one of the fascinating facilities is the surgical theatre where kidneys and hearts can be removed and transplanted.
“There are cameras fitted into the surgical scumps which project images and voices of what is happening in the theatre to the students lecture rooms on the ground floor,” he explained.
Governor Fashola disclosed that the state has already concluded plans to further boost the health of the residents with the construction of a functional world class cancer centre as part of its continuity in governance.
He added: “We also forsee the start of medical tourism from across West Africa into Lagos, Nigeria.
“So, we have planned accommodation for relatives who may want to accompany relatives here for treatment within the complex and the land for construction and management has been set aside,” he added.