Yesterday, the Osun State Government technically relieved the doctors in its employ, of their jobs.
The Chairman, Special Committee on Health, Dr. Simon Afolayan, announced at a press conference, that the state considered that the striking doctors had resigned their appointments.
“Doctors are part of the civil service and by the civil service rule, you cannot abandon your duty post for 6 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!”
Afolayan said the state could not afford to pay the doctors’ salaries in full in the face of the current financial crisis in the state and the nation. Last year, the doctors embarked on an indefinite strike over payment of half salaries and demand for better condition of service.
According to Afolayan, out of over 39,000 workers in the state civil service, doctors were less than 100. He described the demands of the doctors as impossible to meet; saying there would be anarchy in the state if the government paid full salaries to doctors and half salaries to other civil servants.
He added that:-
“The doctors have remained recalcitrant despite all entreaties by leading lights of the medical profession. They refused the popular agreement, what should government do? How can we reverse a decision accented to and agreed with by over 39,000 workers because about 100 people are dissatisfied?”.