Doctors Strike: Patients Plead For End To Industrial Action

Health-workers-strikePatients at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State have called on the Federal Government and doctors to come to an agreement and call off the strike.

Channels Television, during a visit to the hospital, noticed that the usual hustle and bustle was absent, as only the Consultants, Senior Officers and Youth Corp Members were working and the orthopedic ward was occupied with patients, most of whom were accident victims.

The industrial action embarked upon by Resident doctors and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has resulted in paralytic service at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State.

Nevertheless, the patients expressed satisfaction on the services at the hospital in spite of the strike.

They also appealed to the Federal Government and the striking workers of the hospital to agree so that the industrial action may end and full services returned.

The acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Iliasu Ahmed, informed that the hospital has been receiving referrals from other hospitals from within and outside the state.

He added that the few medical personnel have been working hard to cope with the influx of patients.

Their plea came barely 24 hours before the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) called off the nationwide strike.

National President of the Association, Mohammed Askira, made the announcement during a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Saturday, June 25.

While stating that it’s decision was borne out of the need of alleviating the plight of Nigerians, who have been unable to access medical services during the period, he said official duties for the doctors will begin on Monday, June 27.

Kaduna Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike Over Salary

Health workers in Kaduna State under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) on Friday declared an indefinite strike over non-implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) agreement signed two years ago with the State Government.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, JOHESU Chairman, Mrs Cecilia Musa, said that the government only implemented 70 percent of the agreement, saying the industrial action would begin on March 1, 2014, if the State Government failed to fulfil the remaining 30 percent of the agreement.

Musa claimed that nurses in the state worked under stressful condition as they attend to 30 patients daily, against the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of a nurse per six patients, noting that some of the union’s members had decided to seek greener pasture in other health facilities where CONHESS is fully implemented.

Revealing that a meeting between officials of the union and the State Government on February 3, 2014 and February 25, 2014 were deadlocked, Musa said  that strike remained the only option open to the union to push for the implementation of the balance of  30 per cent Consolidated Health Salary Structure(CONHESS)  being an unfulfilled promise by the State Government.

The union said all appeals to the State Government to pay them their outstanding arrears did not yield any positive result, only for the State Government to pay the medical doctors up to 90 percent of their salary structure.

Reacting to the development, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dogo Tot, told Channels Television that the workers’ demands  were genuine, but lamented that the Government did not have enough funds to implement the 30 percent CONHESS.

He called for patience, and appealed to the workers to shelve the impending strike.

National Hospital Will Attend To Patients During Strike

The management of the National Hospital in Abuja has assured patients and all those needing medical attention will continue to attended to by the hospital in spite of the three-day warning strike embarked upon by members of the joint health workers union.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja on Wednesday, Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Doctor Tayo Haastrup, said all patients including those requiring emergency services would be attended to pending the suspension of the strike action.

Although our crew were prevented from filming the hospital wards, Dr Haastrup said doctors were on ground to cushion the effect of the strike.

Spokesperson for the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and President of Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Nigeria, Dr Godswill Okara, had in a news conference said that the joint health workers were embarking on the strike due to the failure of the Federal Government to address the long-standing injustices against members of the union.