By Doris Obinna

The Joint Health Sector Unions and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU/AHPA), have urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to look into the welfare of health professionals in the public service.

Its acting National Secretary, Matthew Ajurotu, in a letter signed for the National Chairman, Josiah Biobelemoye, and addressed to the governor disclosed that it observed that the office of the governor did not acknowledge, respond or expedite action on their pleas to redress the anomalies associated with the conditions of service of its members.

Ajurotu said the union had deliberately engaged the state government with a lot of decorum to enable it delivers people-oriented programmes in public interest, but the latter did not reciprocate the gesture.

The letter reads in part: “The JOHESU/AHPA once again gives the LASG another opportunity to negotiate the demands of its members which we shall review in early February 2023 to decide whether the National Secretariat of JOHESU/AHPA directly takes over.

“As it stands today, the JOHESU/AHPA demand from the LASG include retention allowances for all vulnerable health professionals especially pharmacists, medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, radiographers and others. Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society Nigeria (PSN) have recently confirmed that over 5,200 pharmacies have exited Nigeria in the last three years.”

The scribe further disclosed that the PCN, its regulatory agency, confirmed in September 2022 that about 1,000 of these licenced pharmacists who sought to practice abroad obtained letters of Good Standing from PCN to enable them to practice abroad.

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“Non-implementation of full CONHESS for our members on this salary scale improved hazard allowances for all personnel on CONHESS and implementation of enhanced call shift and non-clinical allowances for deserving personnel.

“Immediate release of Consultant Cadre circular for eligible Pharmacists in LASG, we put on record that while the LASG continues to play games with this demand, lesser endowed states like Edo and Ondo joined the list of state governors already implementing the consultant cadre status, which was initiated by Niger state government as the pacesetter.

“Release of circular on the Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services while the LASG withdraws its biased stance of joining forces with Physicians/Pathologists at the Court of Appeal against other citizens of Lagos State who are Medical Laboratory Scientists.

“Implementation of the circular on Call Duty Allowances approved for Dental Technologists and Therapists.

“Placement of Health Service Commission Social Welfare Officers under the right salary scale.

“Granting autonomy to all Healthcare professionals in all Health facilities in Lagos State to pave way for global best practice.”