Health Workers Declare Indefinite Strike At Federal Hospitals

Health Workers Announce Indefinite Strike

Health Workers Announce Indefinite Strike

The workers said on Wednesday morning they had to resort to the strike to press home their demands because the FG had refused to act on the agreements reached with them when they suspended their last strike on the same issue of adjustment of Consolidate Health Salary Structure and payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 over six months ago.

Keffi, Nasarawa State has joined the nationwide indefinite strike called by their union.

The national vice chairman of JOHESU, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, declared the strike after addressing a congress of the union at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile Ife.

"In the event of strike in the health sector, the poor always bear the burden as they can not afford access to healthcare in private hospitals in Nigeria and overseas", she said. "So our National Executive Council (NEC) met in Abuja and appraised the situation and we resolved to continue with the strike, no going back", the union leader said.

"At the expiration of the 21 days' notice, the leadership of JOHESU reconvened to re-appraise the situation on the ground and noted the lackadaisical attitude of the government toward the implementation of the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed on September 30".

"There must be 100 percent compliance to the strike until our national body instructs otherwise".

JOHESU embarked on a nationwide strike last September to protest among other issues, salary adjustments, promotion arrears, and improved work environment for its members.

According to him, the government will not however fail in its sacred responsibility of protecting the lives of the numerous patients in all public health institutions where the health workers have unjustifiably withdrawn their services.

"If this group of health workers persist on continuing this strike, Government will be forced to invoke the provisions of the relevant labour laws, especially Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap.T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) principles concerning employers rights over strikes in essential services sector", he said.

"However, it is disheartening to note that after six months after the suspension of our last strike and still counting, the federal government has not done anything tangible over the issues".

Disclosing this at an interview with newsmen today, General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Mr. Obisesan Oluwatuyi, said, "The soldiers have been let loose, no retreat, and no surrender until the government does the needful".

The source who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that over 1,800 members of Joint Heath Sector Union working at the institution joined their colleagues across the country on Tuesday in the ongoing strike.

Ogbonna, however, called on Nigerians to prevail on government to meet its demands as agreed.

Daily Sun gathered that health outfits participating in the strike are Federal Teaching Hospitals, Federal Government hospitals and Federal Government specialist hospitals.