Teaching Hospitals Appeal To Striking Health Workers
THE Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Professor Etete Peters, has appealed to striking public health workers nationwide to sheathe their sword, appreciate the effort of the federal government, and call off their strike, in the interest of the masses.
He made this appeal while addressing journalists at the weekend in his office in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
In the same vein, the management of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) has advised striking members of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to put on hold their action.
At a press briefing yesterday in Ilorin, the UITH management, through the Chief Medical Director, Professor Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, said the workers should show patriotism and respect for the nation and human lives.
Olatinwo nevertheless praised members of the union for backing out of the strike in some states affected by the activities of insurgents, adding: “It shows that with little patience with the government, the employer of the workers, the strike may no longer be necessary.”
The hospital boss, who viewed health services as that rendered to the survival of humanity, rather than for any pecuniary interest, said members of JOHESU should remind themselves of the imperative of the oath administered to them at the point of joining the sector and promptly return to work.
Prof. Peters said the federal government, is not adamant over the position of the health workers, as government has engaged labour leaders in series of constructive negotiations towards resolving the contentious issues.
According to him, this led to the setting up of a high-powered committee to look into differences regarding their allowances. The report of which he said has since been submitted to the government.
Peters noted that the federal government has agreed to address the grievances of the workers, especially those bordering on payment of arrears of allowances, clinical governance and professionalism.
He said: “We strongly feel that it is quite important to take another look at the scenario in view of the suffering and hardship the strike is causing the masses. The report of that committee has summarily dealt with all the issues of various conflicts in term of professional practice within the health sector.
“It is expected that when the white paper is issued, professionals will know their roles or level of work to do within the system. The report will cover the problem of clinical governance not only to the striking workers but also doctors working in public health.”
According to him, government has agreed to settle the main outstanding issues bordering on the payment of arrears of their allowances following court judgment obtained about two years ago.
The money for the payment of that allowance, he said, has been captured in the 2015 appropriation now pending before the National Assembly.