PSN appeals for urgent govt intervention to boost morale of health workers


Ahmed Yakasai

Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have appealed to the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to give immediate attention to the clamours of health workers including pharmacists to redress some pressing welfare demands.

The PSN in a press statement signed by its President, Ahmed Yakasai, said the demands by health workers, which have been bracketised into immediate and medium term demands include: immediate release of the circular on adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) scale by the Salaries and Wages Commission; and full payment of balance of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10 which remains outstanding since 2010.

According to Yakasai, while the first two demands are classified as subject matters, which can be dealt with without too much of bureaucratic maneuverings, others must be tackled in line with due process by the appropriate quarters in government.

The other demands by health workers include: proper implementation of the circular which prescribes sanctions on defaulting Federal Health Institution Managements which frustrate the promotion of health workers from CONHESS 14 to 15 as Directors; issuance of enabling circular authorizing consultancy cadre for health professionals who have adhered to due process by scaling the hurdles of approval of the National Council on Establishment; and sponsoring an amendment bill to correct once and for all the litany of contentious provisions in the enabling statute that establishes teaching hospitals in Nigeria (cap 415 463 LFN 2004).

Yakasai said PSN encourages the Federal Government to sustain the lofty ideals of the intervention championed by the late Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Barrister James Ocholi who calmed frayed nerves within the ranks of the various Health Sector Unions and Health Professional Associations that had threatened to go on strike in February.

The statement noted: “While we agree the strike option should always be the last option, it is imperative the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria also appeals to the Federal Government to understand the plight of aggrieved health workers who also want reward for labour and have patiently endured in long suffering especially after firm assurances were extracted from former President Goodluck Jonathan at a series of consultations which peaked with two different meetings with the former President in February 2015.”

The PSN strongly urged the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (APHA) to continue to embrace dialogue with government as it remains optimistic that dialogue will ultimately be fruitful and productive in public interest.

The pharmacists called on all the appendages of government including the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Head of Service of the Federation, Budget Office, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and all others involved in negotiations with JOHESU/AHPA not to allow a breakdown in negotiations as everything humanly possible must be done to avert a strike of health workers which can only hurt the economy as well as inflicting morbidity on the generality of the people.

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