Oct 14, 2011 – The Delta State Government yesterday announced the sack of 15 doctors on its payroll over their role in a strike that crippled operations at the state-owned hospitals.
Health Commissioner Dr. Joseph Otumara, who justified the sack while speaking with reporters in Asaba, the state capital, said the appointment of the affected doctors had not been confirmed by their employer.
He said the action was necessary to send the signal to others and serve as deterrent to those that may be nursing the strike idea.
According to him, the State Hospital Management Board (SHMB), heeding a directive from government had issued appointment letters to those hired to replace the sacked doctors.
The doctors’ strike had been triggered by what they called an authoritarian attitude of Dr. Caroline Ajuya, the Permanent Secretary in the SHMB.
Under the aegis of the Association of Government General Medical and Dental Workers practitioners, they had embarked on the industrial action in August.
They doctors also demanded the redeployment of Dr Ajuya from the SHMB.
Besides, the doctors were kicking against the government’s taxation policy.
But the commissioner lashed out at the doctors, pointing out that they not more important than other categories of workers in the state.
He said government would not allow itself to be held to ransom by its employees each time they felt aggrieved.
Otumara noted that doctors were not supposed to engage in ceaseless agitations but to be compassionate and see human lives as sacred, adding that the commercial inclination of some doctors has made them to lose focus of the ethics of their choice profession.(the nation)