The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday apologised to Lagos residents over the suffering resulting from the on-going strike by doctors in the state.
Mr Fashola, who gave this apology while addressing Lagos residents who were at his office in protest against the strike, expressed regrets at the possible loss of lives as a result of the action.
“Let me apologise to all of you, all Lagosians who are suffering from this situation that we have found ourselves,” the governor said.
“I can only apologise to you, unfortunately I cannot give back those lives that we have lost and this is a very painful period for me,” he added.
He told the protesters to remain calm, assuring them that the state government would do everything possible to end the strike soon.
Doctors in government-owned hospitals, under the aegis of Medical Guild, on April 24 embarked on an indefinite strike, demanding improved working conditions.
The action has since paralysed activities at state-owned hospitals due to the absence of the doctors.
Mr. Fashola said the state government had done a lot to improve the working conditions of doctors, nurses and other health workers in the state.
“”From their offices to the clinics to the theatre, to the School of Medicine and we have not stopped, but the truth is that hospitals by themselves do not save lives; it is people who do so.
“We assure you that we will end this strike as soon as possible. I appeal to you to remain calm and show more understanding until we find our way out of this situation, “he said.
The governor said that the state government would continue to run free health missions across the state to reduce the impact of the strike on the populace.
Bola Popoola, who led the about 300 protesters, mostly women, to the Governor’s Office, appealed to Mr. Fashola to urgently resolve the crisis to prevent further loss of lives.
She condemned the doctors` action, accusing them of pursuing selfish goals rather than providing service to humanity which, she said, was the hallmark of their profession.
“Many deaths are recorded on a daily basis and the sick among us cannot receive medical attention, it is just unfortunate that the doctors have over-stretched this situation.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow the situation to continue,” she added.