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Health workers to shut down hospitals April 18 over alleged breach of agreement

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PHOTO: authorityngr

• Nigeria ranks 91st out of 156 countries in World Happiness Report 2018
• ‘Lassa Fever treatment not totally free in Irrua Hospital’

Health workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), have issued a 30-working day ultimatum for the Federal Government to implement their demands, beginning from March 15, 2018.

The health workers said failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands before the expiration of the fresh ultimatum on April 17, 2018, they would be forced to embark on another round of nationwide indefinite industrial action.

President of JOHESU, Biobonnomoye Joy Joshua, who spoke yesterday while addressing congress of health workers from North-West Zone in Kano, said the Minister of Health had failed to fulfill the collective bargaining signed with JOHESU in September 2017 after which similarly demands of medical doctors were settled.

The JOHESU President, represented by the Vice President, Dr. Ogbonna Obina, accused the Federal Government of lopsidedness and undue favour of medical doctors against other health workers.

Joshua said the union was in Kano as part of its nationwide measure to sensitise and mobilise members across the geo-political zones ahead of the planned industrial action.

In another development, Nigeria is ranked the 91st happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2018 released yesterday at the Vatican, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels.

An earlier study, in 2003, of more than 65 countries published in the United Kingdom’s (UK) New Scientist magazine suggested that the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria – and the least happy, in Romania.

Also, contrary to claims by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that the Federal Government is providing free treatment for Lassa fever nationwide, the largest diagnostic and care centre in the country, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, has declared that the process is not totally free but subsidised to make it affordable for patients.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, had said the federal and state governments had been providing free diagnosis, treatment and care for all the patients.

But spokesperson of the hospital, Odijie Ohue, told The Guardian yesterday: “The treatment is subsidised; they don’t pay much, otherwise they will not be able to pay. The little they pay is for registration. They pay for the various tests they have to run and the treatment is subsidised.”


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