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Osun Govt Finally ‘fires’ Striking Doctors

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, February 19, (THEWILL) – For purportedly abandoning their duty posts without reason for over six months, the Osun state government on Friday sacked medical doctors in its employ, in line with the Civil Service rule.

The Chairman, Special Committee on Health, Dr. Simon Afolayan announced at a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital, that the state government considered the doctors to have resigned their appointments, having been on strike since September 28, 2015.

Noting that the doctors had not been sacked as no letter of sack was issued to any of them, he stressed that they were however deemed to resign their appointments because of their refusal to work for more than six months.

According to Afolayan, “Doctors are parts of the civil service and by the civil service rule you cannot abandon your duty post for six months without reason and not face the consequences. If you do so, it is deemed that you have resigned your appointment. This rule has taken effect.”

While pointing out that those who still wanted to work with the government had been given a fresh opportunity, he explained that the state could not afford to pay the doctors' salaries in full because of the financial crisis facing the state and the country, at large.

The Health Committee Chairman stated that out of about 40,000 workforce in the state civil service, doctors working with the Osun State Hospitals Management Board are less were less than 100.

He described the demands of the estranged doctors as impossible; insisting that there would be anarchy in the state if the government decided to pay full salaries to doctors and continue to pay other civil servants half salaries.

Afolayan pointed out that the state government did not sack any of the doctors but that the doctors had decided to discontinue rendering their services by abandoning their duties for over six months.

It would be recalled that members of the Osun State Association of Medical and Dental Officers under the Hospitals Management Board and Association of Resident Doctors at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo had embarked on an indefinite strike since September 28 last year over the payment of half salaries and poor condition of service.

Sometime in January, the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had threatened to implement the civil service rule against the striking doctors. Shortly after, the state government advertised the positions of the doctors, of which Afolayan revealed that some doctors had applied for the vacant positions.