COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE EMERGENCY DELEGATES’ MEETING (EDM) OF THE NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HELD AT THE OLD GREAT HALL OF THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, LAGOS STATE, ON SATURDAY JUNE 2ND , 2012.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) held an Emergency Delegates Meeting (EDM) on Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 to review the illegal sack of 788 doctors in the employment of Lagos State Government. The EDM was attended by delegates from the 36 states of Nigeria, Federal Capital Territory and the Affiliate groups of NMA.
At the end of exhaustive deliberations, the following observations and resolutions were made by the EDM:
1. The Emergency Delegates’ Meeting (EDM) observed that the current distrust and crisis in the Lagos state health sector was occasioned by the Lagos State Government’s consistent failure to implement the several agreements it freely entered into with doctors in her employment. These agreements include the implementation of a mutually agreed Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for Medical doctors without compression of grade level steps as currently exist in Lagos State.
2. The EDM observed that all the actions so far taken by the Lagos State branch of NMA and the National Officers Committee (NOC) of NMA to resolve the face-off between the Lagos State Government and doctors in her employment were in order.
3. The EDM noted the press statement made by the Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, suspending the dismissal order earlier pronounced on 788 doctors by the Lagos State government. The EDM, however, observed that since this media pronouncement of the suspension of the dismissal order there has not been any official communication of Lagos State Government’s new position to either the doctors affected or the Nigerian Medical Association. Importantly, the EDM observed that since the recent media statement by the Lagos State Government, none of the 788 illegally sacked doctors have been individually issued recall letters vacating their earlier dismissal, and with effect from the date they were purportedly dismissed.
4. The EDM observed with total dismay the casualization of Labour in the Medical Profession as evidenced by the slavish and villatic locum contract appointment offered by the Lagos State Government in the course of her dispute with her legitimately employed doctors.
5. The EDM observed the unwarranted acts of disloyalty to the Association and Medical Profession by some doctors.
6. The EDM also noted with dismay the earlier illegal eviction of the illegally sacked doctors from their residential quarters despite the existing tenancy laws of Lagos State which specifies a minimum of six months before the eviction of a tenant. The EDM however observed that the eviction order has been reversed by the Governor of Lagos state, in response to the call by the NMA and other well meaning Nigerians for justice and constitutionality in the address of the matter.
7. The EDM noted the appeals and plight of the toiling masses of Lagos State. The EDM also noted the speedy intervention and sincere commitment of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, towards the resolution of the crisis, as well as the immense support of other Professional Associations, Unions, groups and other well meaning Nigerians.
8. The EDM observed that some State Governments were yet to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS- the minimum wage for Nigerian doctors) for the doctors in their employment despite the series of appeals made by the NMA.
1. The Emergency Delegates’ Meeting (EDM) of the NMA endorsed all the actions so far taken by the Lagos State branch of NMA and the National Officers Committee.
2. The EDM resolved that a meeting should be convoked within two (2) weeks from the EDM between NMA Lagos State Branch and the Lagos State Government to sort out issues of withdrawal of sack letters and all agreements earlier freely entered into by the Lagos State Government.
3. The EDM resolved that there should be an unconditional recall of the doctors by issuance of individual letters of recall to all the 788 illegally sacked doctors to take effect from the date they were purportedly dismissed, and without any punitive measures. If within two (2) weeks they are not unconditionally recalled, the EDM empowered the National Officers Committee (NOC) of the NMA to issue a three (3) weeks ultimatum to Lagos State Government to individually issue the recall letters or face a nationwide action.
4. The EDM of the NMA strongly condemned the casualization of labour in the Medical profession by the Lagos State Government and strongly advices the Lagos State Government to stop forthwith this atavistic exercise in slavery.
5. The EDM of the NMA revalidated its earlier December 2010 National Executive Council resolution directing all the State branches of NMA to negotiate with State Governments yet to commence implementation of CONMESS (the minimum wage for Nigerian doctors), and to proceed on strike if necessary.
6. The EDM resolved to utilise appropriate mechanisms to address all acts of disloyalty and gross abuse of the Association/ Medical Profession by her members.
7. The EDM directed the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its earlier issued ultimatum to the Federal Government, for an indefinite strike action over the crisis in Lagos state health sector.
8. The EDM, in great appreciation of the understanding and plight of the people of Lagos State, the speedy intervention and sincere commitment of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR; the National body of the NMA has directed the Lagos state branch of NMA to suspend its strike action with the hope that the Lagos State Government will reciprocate this gesture and fulfil all agreements it earlier freely entered into with doctors in Lagos State Government employment.
The National body of the Nigerian Medical Association profoundly appreciates the principled support of the Joint Action Front, ASUU, NUPENG, NBA, Mr Femi Falana, Mr. Tunji Braithwaite, the print and electronic media, and other well-meaning Nigerians.
NMA also commends her members in the employment of Lagos State Government for their steadfastness, uncommon courage and determined quest for justice and good governance.
We also commend our members in the Federal Health institutions in Lagos state who justifiably went on solidarity strike in support of our colleagues in the employment of the Lagos state government.
All the delegates from the 36 states of Nigeria, the Federal Capital Territory and the Affiliate groups of NMA are well appreciated for their commitment to the defence of the fundamental rights of workers in Nigeria and the sanctity and integrity of the Medical Profession.
We once again appreciate all Lagosians, well meaning Nigerians and the International Community for their understanding, patience and support for our principled cause.
Finally, we thank the Lagos state branch of NMA for successfully hosting the EDM despite the short notice given to them.
The Nigerian Medical Association remains very committed to good governance, equitable, accessible and quality healthcare services in Nigeria.
Dr. Osahon Enabulele Dr. A.L. Pemu
President of NMA Secretary-General of NMA