Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Health workers begin strike on Wednesday

Public health workers have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike beginning on Wednesday over alleged breach of agreements by the Federal Government.
The workers, under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations, had earlier handed the government a 15-day ultimatum with effect from February 3 to accede to their 10-point demands or risk a nationwide strike.
Among their demands, the workers called for the heads of federal health institutions to be designated “Chief Executive Officers, against the present Chief Medical Directors.”
The ultimatum dated February 1 was contained in letter signed by JOHESU’s Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah, to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.


It read, “In view of the failure of the present Federal Government to accede to our demands, JOHESU and AHPA, at their joint meeting, resolved to give a 15-day ultimatum beginning on February 3, 2016.
“It is our hope and desire that the Federal Government would take necessary steps to ensure that our demands are met on or before Tuesday, February 17, 2016 in order to forestall the impending avoidable industrial action.”
According to the workers,   unless government satisfies their demand, they will resume the suspended strike.
The body decried the marginalisation of its members which contribute 95 per cent of health care providers for the country,
JOHESU demanded the implementation of new circular on the promotion of its members from CONHESS 14 to 15 as directors, “which places premium on the need to sanction defaulting hospital managements.”
According to them, the HoS should ensure the expedited issuance of an enabling circular authorising consultancy cadre for health professionals, who have adhered to due process, to be vested with consultancy status.
They also demanded the payment of arrears of specialist allowances to qualified hospital-based health professionals with effect from January 1, 2010 and immediate and full payment of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10, which has remained outstanding since the year 2010.
The workers also asked the Federal Ministry of Health for a circular on residency programmes for all health professionals in Nigeria to ensure professional capacity development in the health sector.




Punch

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