The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), the assembly of all healthcare professionals, has given the federal government notice of a three-day warning strike which will commence tomorrow, following the government’s inability to accede to their demands.
“After an exhaustive appraisal of the outcome of the meeting with the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday, January 16, we have come to the painful but inevitable conclusion that there is no sign of sincerity and commitment on the part of the ministry of health and consequently, the federal government to address the longstanding injustices against our members, which has resulted in legitimate discontent and deepening industrial conflict.
The unions recalled that they had issued a 15-day ultimatum on December 12, 2013 which expired on December 27 last year and this culminated in a meeting between JOHESU and the government on January 7 to address the issues in dispute.
The statement explained that a communiqué was issued after arriving at an agreement and a seven-working day grace within which to implement the issues agreed upon was given to the government.
“Agonizingly, at the meeting of January, 16 to re-appraise the outcome of the ministry’s implementation of the agreed issues, we found out that the ministry has virtually not implemented any of the issues in contention, this is despite the fact that local branches of our unions had already commenced strike to protest the non-skipping of CONHESS 10 which the National Industrial Court (NIC) had upheld in her judgment.
“The continued reign of impunity, arbitrariness and non-implementation of duly approved schemes of service of our members in hospitals and ministries must stop forthwith. The violation and infringement of our professional liberties despite court judgments and clear statutory provisions will no longer be tolerated. This has led to the gross mismanagement of the resources of our hospitals and the attendant adverse effect on the provision of services for patient care. No wonder therefore, medical tourism has continued to increase.
“The selective and discriminatory increases in wages and allowances of one group in a multidisciplinary sector without commensurate treatment to other members of the sector is not only provocative and insensitive but runs counter to social justice and equity. Government is called upon to redress this anomaly immediately for the sustenance of incentive and commitment for patient care in our hospitals,” the statement added.
The leaders therefore directed all members to comply fully with the three-day warning strike, adding that instructions and directives to the contrary from any other quarters should be ignored.
The joint statement was signed by President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, Chairman, Joint Health Sector Unions, Mr. Wabba Ayuba, President of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Mr. Abbultafiu Adeniji, President, AMLSN and Chairman, Assembly of Health Care Professional Associations, Dr. G. C. Okara and President, Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy, Mr. Taiwo Oyewumi. Others are, President, Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, Dr. Mark Okeji and President, Health Information Managers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Wole Ajayi.