Health workers under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals on Thursday expressed excitement at the resignation of the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to pursue his 2015 governorship ambition in Ebonyi State.
The workers, who jubilated over his exit, also fingered the minister as the major hindrance and impediment to the growth of the health sector in Nigeria.
The National President of NUAHP, who also doubles as Vice President of the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, Mr. Felix Faniran, stated this while giving an update on the strike action, which the union commenced on Thursday.
Faniran urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to appoint a medical doctor to pilot the affairs of the Health Ministry in Nigeria again.
He revealed that if the strike by the NUAHP was allowed to fester without prompt resolution of the issues, other health workers in the sector will join at the end of October.
Faniran said, “There will be total paralysis of the health sector. It is a happy news for us to hear that the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu resigned yesterday and we are using this forum to call on Mr President, while replacing him, in his cabinet, to ensure peace in the health sector.
“The President should consider a person from Allied Health Professionals as the replacement so that the Minister who is already there and from Nigerian Medical Association will partner with another from the non-NMA constituency for balance and harmony in the health sector.
“Since the appointment of the Chukwu as Health Minister, our health sector has not known peace. He has demonstrated that he is a nominee of the NMA and not a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having been partisan and outrightly discriminatory of all other health professionals in favour of members of his professional constituency from the beginning till date”.
In his reaction, the minister’s spokesman, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, said the strike action was uncalled for.
He said, “I am not aware of any notice of strike and if they say that is it the outgoing outgoing Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu that is their problem and that is the problem of the Nigerian health sector, he had already notified the President of the country of his intention to resign and the President has accepted it which will take effect from Monday, October 20”.