FG Holds Another Meeting With Striking Health Workers

The Federal Government is currently holding another conciliatory meeting with striking health workers.

This second conciliatory meeting is holding after the first meeting which was held on September 27, ended in deadlock.

The meeting is chaired by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. Ngige and his Ministry of Health-counterpart, Professor Isaac Adewole, are said to be absent at the meeting today. They are represented by the Minister of State for Labour and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

READ ALSO: FG’s Meeting With Striking Health Workers Ends In Deadlock

The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) is currently on strike, demanding among other issues, that the government pay earned salary arrears of their members

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FG’s Meeting With Striking Health Workers Ends In Deadlock

There appears not to be any headway in the negotiation between the Federal Government and the striking health workers in the country.

At the end of their reconciliation meeting in Abuja, which was chaired by the Federal Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and Health Minister, Issac Adewole, both parties differed over the legality of the ongoing industrial action by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

While the Minister of Labour criticised the health workers for not following the provisions of existing labour laws, the union insists that no labour law has been violated by their action.

“Workers that are in Energy, Medicine, and Allied medical professionals and those that their action will cause danger to health are the people that are called essential services. For those who are in essential services, Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, technologists and those who have anything to do with the hospital are on essential service.

“So, when those who are in essential services go on strike, like the doctors did about four weeks ago, and you following suit, it gives us a lot of worry, especially when those strikes are not done according to the labour law,” Ngige said.

The Union in response disagreed with the Labour Minister saying, they violated no law with them saying, “We waited patiently for 30 days. We notified the government. After 30 days, we still gave 7 days and that was the final ultimatum.”

The union is demanding among other issues, that the government pay earned salary arrears of their members.

Health Workers Threaten Strike Over Poor Working Conditions

Health Workers, NUAHP, StrikeThe Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike next week over the poor working conditions in government hospitals.

The union gave the warning on Tuesday through its president, Mr Ogbonna Chimela.

Speaking to reporters during a protest to the Ministry of Health in Abuja, Mr Chimela noted that efforts to address the issues with the ministry have yielded no positive result.

Apart from the issues of salaries structure, promotion and infrastructure, the union also called on the government to probe corruption cases in government hospitals.

They said that the cases of corruption have led most of the facilities to operate without drugs for patients.

Edo Health Workers Emabark On Industrial Action

Edo, Health workers, industrial actionHealth workers at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state, have embarked on an indefinite strike action over unpaid September and October 2016 salaries, among other allowances by the Federal Government.

Speaking on behalf of the various unions in the facility, Dr. Fidelis Ogobor explained that the industrial action is the only alternative for the health workers under the present economic recession in the country.

“Our salaries for the month of September and October have not been paid. we cannot continue to serve government with empty stomach.”

Another leader said: “we pray that the federal government will give us a listening ear and do something about our budget, the budget that is deficit year in year out, that should come to an end’’

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Emmanuel Osagiede expressed sympathy for the striking workers.

He however said “as for the resident doctors which is my association, we are not on industrial action yet, but that does not mean we are not in solidarity with them, to tell the Federal Government to bring this money and actually pay everybody.

“I think what they are doing is in order, because when people can no longer come to work, I don’t know what you expect them to do at this condition”.

Reacting to the situation, Chief Medical Director of the health institution, Dr. Slyvanus Okogbenin in an interview with Channels Television, expressed that the striking workers are “overreacting.”

He said: “the downing of tools by the striking staff is premature as funds from government are already on the way.”

The Medical Director confirmed the release of funds by the Federal Government which will be used to clear the outstanding remunerations.

The hospital however remains open to the public, despite the industrial action embarked upon by a section of the workforce.

Ogun Govt. Alerts Public On Lassa Fever

Lassa-Fever-in-OgunThe Ogun State Government has assured residents not to exercise unnecessary fear over the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

The government’s call comes on the heels of reported cases of the disease in some states in Nigeria.

In a statement, the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Mr Babatunde Ipaye, said that the government has activated its disease surveillance and notification structures.

He explained that the structures would detect any case of Lassa fever on time and deploy appropriate measures to prevent and control the spread of the disease.

The Commissioner called on residents to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene and ensure all food stock are tightly closed.

He urged members of the public to take note of persistent high fever that has resisted normal antimalarial drugs treatment, stressing that all fluids from an infected person are extremely dangerous.

Health workers were also advised to be at alert by wearing personal protective equipment and observe universal basic precautions.

Mr Ipaye identified the symptoms of the disease as weakness, sore throat, abdominal pains, muscle pain and bleeding from any part of the body such as the eye, nose, mouth, ear and other private parts of the body.

He advised members of the public to report any case of the above symptoms to the nearest general hospital or call the Lassa fever hotline on 09099140121 and 09099140122.

Adamawa Health Workers Protest Two Years Unpaid Salaries

Adamawa Health Workers Protest Unpaid SalariesHealth workers across Adamawa State have protested their unpaid salaries by the state government.

The workers, who were over 800, staged the peaceful demonstration on Monday.

Displaying placards with various inscriptions, they lamented that they have not been receiving salaries in the last two years.

The workers wondered why they were not paid alongside the nurses who were employed at the same time.

Reacting to the allegation, the Commissioner of Health in Adamawa State, Fatima Atiku-Abubakar, appealed to the workers to remain calm.

Mrs Atiku-Abubakar blamed the discrepancy in workers’ verification exercise for the unpaid salaries.

Resident Doctors To Embark On Warning Strike

Resident Doctors The National Association of Resident Doctors has announced a 5-day warning strike which will commence on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

The doctors’ new date for the industrial action is coming after the expiration of a 35-day ultimatum it earlier gave the federal government to look into issues including unpaid salaries and disengagement of some of their colleagues.

The President of the association, Dr. Muhammad Askira, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja that they are unsatisfied by the efforts of the government to resolve the impasse during the period of the ultimatum.

Joint Health Workers Strike Paralyse Activities In JUTH

Health workersThe continued industrial action by Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), is taking its toll on health services to the public at the Tertiary Health Centre.

Members of the unions maintain that until their demands are met, there is no going back to work, despite pleas from the management that the public should be considered.

Chairman of the Union, Mustapha Kabir, declared the continuation of action against some decisions of the management.

He noted that the management failed to honour the agreement reached on a memorandum of understanding with JOHESU.

The congress mandated the unions to resume the suspended strike until the demands are met leading to activities at the hospital running at slow pace with only medical doctors and consultants attending to patients.

The management of JUTH, however, differed on some of the allegations, explaining that some issues raised by the unions will be solved at the national level, while those for the hospital are receiving attention.

With the industrial action running for more than two weeks, both the unions and management of JUTH need to come to an agreement for work to resume immediately, as patients are the most affected.

Health Workers Threaten Strike

Health workersThe Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (AHPA) have issued a 15-day ultimatum from February 3, 2016 to the federal government to look into their demands or face an industrial action.

The health workers have been having a protracted dispute with the federal government over a number of demands.

Some of their demands include the implementation of a circular on promotion from CONHESS 14 to 15 and the reconstitution of what the coalition calls lopsided composition of the board of management of teaching hospitals among others.

Medical doctors are, however, not part of the threat by the coalition of unions and associations of healthcare workers in Nigeria to go on strike.

60 Million Poor Nigerians To Enjoy Free Medical Care

Universities-medical careThe Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has given the assurance that 60 million poor Nigerians will enjoy unfettered medical care under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration within the next two years.

The Minister who said this during his visit to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, added that 10,000 health facilities would be built in 774 Local Government across the country for effective service delivery to the people.

While promising that the government would pay them their dues, Prof. Adewole also advised all health workers not to see strike as the only option for negotiation.

The Ekiti State Governor, who was represented by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, urged the Federal Government to also look into the areas of staff welfare, considering the nature of their profession.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Majekodunmi Ayodele, in his response to the Minister, appealed to workers to be patient with the management as their requests will be addressed.

Health Workers Commence Nationwide Strike

Health workersHealth workers under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Allied Health professionals (NUAHP) in all government hospitals across the country on Tuesday declared the commencement of an indefinite strike.

National President of the Union, Comrade Obinna Ogbonna, who called for the industrial action after a meeting with health professionals at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) in Ile-ife, Osun State, said that the strike became imperative following the failure by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan to honour the agreement reached by both parties.

Since 2014, health workers particularly members of the NUAHP began agitation for several issues ranging from implementation of ‎agreed salary of all health professionals as done for NMA, to the payment of arrears on skipping of CONHESS-10 since year 2010 in compliance with court judgement.

Other requests which include appointment of health professionals as Chief Medical Directors ‎and many others have however met with a brick wall leading to various strikes.

The Union said that in February 2015, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan met with the leadership of JOHESU and appealed for suspension of the ongoing strike at that time with the promise to resolve the pending issues.

According to the union, all promises are yet to be fulfilled, hence the call for the members to proceed on an indefinite strike.

In spite of appeal, the strike has been called and the members comprising of medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, dieticians, radiologists, optometrists and medical social service workers in hospitals across the states will boycott work, crippling major activities in the hospitals.

Lagos Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike

Lagos doctorsMedical doctors working for the Lagos State Government on Monday began an indefinite strike over several protracted issues with the state government.

The Lagos doctors, under the aegis of the Medical Guild, are aggrieved over issues which include alleged engagement of doctors as casual workers and the withholding of doctors’ salaries for May 2012 and from August to September 2014 over the doctors involvement in industrial action.

Meanwhile the state government has described the current strike as illegal, just like the former one.

In a press statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, the government says it is a fact that those health workers who did not work during the stated period were not paid.

This, Mr Ibirogba said is in line with the “no work no pay rule” policy of the government which is in accordance with international employment practices and the Trade Disputes Act.

He therefore advised the Lagos doctors to resume at their respective duty positions while discussions with the state government are ongoing.