- Health activities paralysed
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife Chapter have declared an indefinite nationwide strike in protest of the Federal Government’s failure to meet their demands.
Among their demands are the upward adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), arrears of skipping of CONHESS 10, employment of additional health professionals, implementation of court judgements and upward review of retirement age from 60-65.
The President of JOHESU-OAU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, who declared the strike while addressing the teeming members of the union at the Teaching Hospital complex in Ile-Ife, recalled that the union had suspended its last nationwide strike on September 30 last year after the the Federal Government of Nigeria signed a memorandum of terms of settlement with it which was supposed to be implemented within five weeks after the date of suspension of the strike. But that six months after of the suspension of the strike, the Federal Government had not met their demands.
“It’s disheartening to note that six months after the suspension of our last strike and still counting, the Federal Government has not done anything tangible over the pending issues, especially on the flagship issue of CONHESS adjustment and payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping,” Dr Ogbonna said.
He lamented that despite the union gave a 21-day strike notice to the Federal Government on February 15, and another 30 working days ultimatum on March 5 to do the needful, it remained adamant, prompting the union to join the JOHESU strike which started nationwide on Tuesday.
Ogbonna told members that, with government’s failure to meet their demands, there was no going back on the industrial action.
“Consequent upon this, JOHESU has no other choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike as from midnight of Tuesday April 18 when the 30 working days is expected to expire,” he stated.
He advised members to not report to duty or offer any service in any way until their demands are met and the industrial action suspended.
He called on President Buhari to intervene in order that the unions’ demands are met promptly.
Dr Ogbonna also appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, including traditional leaders, elder statesmen, opinion leaders and the general public, to prevail on government to meet the union’s demands to enable them perform their duties and to save the health sector from paralysis.
Daily Sun gathered that health outfits participating in the strike are Federal Teaching Hospitals, Federal Government hospitals and Federal Government specialist hospitals.
State hospitals and medical centres will join in 15 days.
We also gathered that activities in different departments of the hospital have been paralysed as health workers, including physiotherapists, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, among other staff have withdrawn their services.
A member of the union, Mr Ogbonna Godwin, told Daily Sun that patients were being discharged from wards Tuesday due to non-availability of the staff to attend to them.