JOHESU strike paralyses activities at hospitals
NLC, TUC declare strike in Kogi over salary arrears
Medical activities at some health institutions were yesterday grounded following the nationwide strike declared by health workers under the aegis of Joint Heath Sector Unions (JOHESU).
Some of their demands include approval for adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS), improved welfare, adequate funding of the health sector, provision of medical equipment and prompt payment of salaries.
The Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Ogun State JOHESU Chairman, Mr. Samuel Idowu, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the union, said that the strike became inevitable having served the Federal Government ultimatum without positive response from the government.
He said: “Only a well-motivated care-giver can provide good medical service without transfer of aggression to patients.”
However, management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has said the hospital remains open and rendering clinical services to patients despite the national industrial disharmony.
A statement by UBTH Head of Information Unit, Uwaila Joshua, said the tertiary health institution is open and providing services in the interest of patients.
But Vice Chairman, Medical Health Workers Union (MHWU) UBTH Branch, Uche Ngozi and President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) UBTH Branch, Austin Osigbemhe, said members, particularly nurses, had since yesterday embarked on total strike following the national directive and vowed to sustain the action until the Federal Government meet their demands.
When The Guardian visited the hospital, some health workers were seen in clusters discussing the situation while others were absent from their duty posts, a situation that partially disrupted official and medical services at the UBTH.
The UBTH Staff Creche play centre for nursing mothers was closed as some of the care-givers were absent from work while those present turned back parents and their children citing the strike by JOHESU.
In the same vein, activities at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and National Orthopedic Hospital in Kano were brought to halt following the strike.
At the Orthopedic, a patient told The Guardian that the hospital had suspended his surgical operation and other patients’ due to non-availability of nurses to attend to them.
Workers at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Nnewi and Onitsha, Anambra State, have withdrawn their services to show solidarity.
The Anambra State Chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Mrs. Chinwe Oraizu, said that the indefinite strike by workers would continue until government enters into workable agreement with the union.
In another development, leaders of the organised labour in Kogi State, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (PSJNC), has declared strike starting from today, September 22, 2017.
The NLC Chairman, Onuh Edoka, who spoke on behalf of the labour leaders, said the strike is the only life-line left for workers in the state to negotiate their survival in the hands of the government.
He, therefore, urged the workers to stay at home for eternity if it would take government eternity to pay outstanding salary arrears owed their members.
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