The group in a release signed by the National President, Obinna Ogbonna and the national secretary Ayinde Obisesan, threatened a shutdown of healthcare services in the healthcare nationwide giving the Federal Government an ultimatum which is expected to elapse September 30, 2017.
“Considering other mobilisation factors and to give the government further room to address our demands, come 30th September 2017, if the government refuses to meet our demands, the union will have no other option than to shut down health care services nationwide.
Highlight of the demands of the groups include, “Revamping the infrastructure in the tertiary health institutions; report of the inter-ministerial sub-committee on critical matters in the health sector; professional autonomy;
“Non- payment of backlog of arrears; Residency training for other health professionals; Appointments of consultants and payment of specialist allowance; Surgeon general; National health act implementation, among several other issues.”
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government to implement all agreements and memorandum of understanding reached with NUAHP/JOHESU on or before the expiration of the ultimatum to avert the looming industrial action.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, says the Ministry will operate a ‘no work, no pay’ rule, if the health workers’ refuse to call off strike.
The Permanent Secretary, who made the statement at a news conference in Abuja, described the decision by workers to stay away from work as grossly unacceptable.
Mr Awute also condemned the harassment on officials of some of the health institutions in the country by the striking workers.
The workers began the industrial action since May after the National President of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) called for the action citing the failure of the former President Jonathan’s administration to honour an agreement earlier reached.
Health 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.