· Condemns Sacking 0f Volunteer Healthcare
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) has thrown its weight behind Lagos State striking doctors by expressing support for their demands and calls on the Lagos State government to immediately meet these demands.
In a press statement on Monday, signed by Comrade Rufus Olusesan, National Chairperson, and Comrade Chinedu Bosah, Publicity Secretary, CDWR also condemned the sacking of about 30 covid-19 volunteer healthcare workers at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba and Onikan Isolation Centre by the state government, just as it demanded for their reinstatement and payment of their allowances, including insurance policies for all frontline healthcare workers.
While describing facilities at the hospital and isolation centre as inadequate, CDWR said the action of the government is absurd considering the increasing spread of covid-19 and the attendant implication on the treatment and management of patients in the state.
“It is a known fact that these frontline healthcare workers are the ones fighting the deadly COVID-19 war, risking their lives to the extent that some contract the disease in the line of duty and a few of them have regrettably died in the process.
“Government top officials, who do not risk their lives in any way, earn jumbo salaries and allowances and are the ones who are undermining the fight against the pandemic through various anti-labour policies.
“The management of the funds allocated to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos State just like the federal government and other states of the federation has been shrouded in secrecy. CDWR demands the funds allocated to the health sector and COVID-19 to be transparently and democratically managed by elected representatives of healthcare workers and communities with regular reports to be sent to the public for scrutiny with the right of recall if the representatives are found wanting or are incapable,” CDWR stated, as it called for the unity of all healthcare workers and professionals with the aim of, among other things, struggling for better working conditions and provision of basic healthcare amenities to meet the health needs of all.
CDWR called on the NLC, TUC, ULC, NMA, Medical Guild, NANNM and other healthcare professional bodies to support the strike action in meeting all demands as well as adequate funding and democratic management of the health sector and Covid-19 response.
The Chairman of the Lagos Medical Guild, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, had explained that the doctors embarked on 3-day warning strike starting Monday, 13th July 2020 over the non-implementation of covid-19 hazard and inducement allowances contained in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the federal government and Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) for doctors under the employment of the Lagos State government.
The doctors are also complaining of wage disparity between federal and Lagos doctors as well as unpaid two months salaries for doctors working in the covid-19 isolation centres and arbitrary disengagement of doctors without recourse to their terms of employment.
“Lagos State government engaged some healthcare workers in the isolation centres without an agreement or clear terms of the contract and with no detail on the insurance policy. This is a clear case of crude casualization and indecent work practices by the Lagos State government with the aim of undermining workers’ rights and interests. It is also condemnable that the affected health workers are being owed two months’ salaries and allowances amidst other complaints,” CDWR stated.