Union demands reconstitution of presidential health reform committee
The Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) has faulted the recently constituted Presidential Committee on Health Reform, which is chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, describing the selection of its membership as discriminatory against other health care professionals in the country.
Noting that the reform committee, with over 95 per cent of members, who are physicians, negates the rights and liberties of the majority of health workers in the country, the union called for the reconstitution of the committee to include representatives of other health care professionals and sector unions.
The union also demanded immediate payment of the new hazard allowance for healthcare workers.
President of the union, Obinna Ogbonna, who made the call at an event to mark the 2022 Health Sector Reform Day in Abuja, observed that the promulgation of the draconian Decree 10 of 1985 introduced dichotomy and discrimination in the health sector, adding that the decree was responsible for the crashing of Nigeria’s health sector from its enviable 55th position to now 187th out of 191 countries of the world based on the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) ranking.
He alleged that in the nation’s health sector today, and in the quest, to emasculate others and downplay competence, the entire public health system is manipulated to have only members of a favoured profession dominate all others basis notwithstanding multi-disciplinary nature of the health sector.
Ogbonna decried the refusal to promote other health care professionals to the peak of their public service career of grade Level 17 as done for other professionals adding that appointment of Ministers of Health from the membership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the exclusion of other health professional groups are despised without just cause.
He called on the Federal Government to address the injustices in the health sector in the public interest and stop all forms of discriminatory practices against health professionals in full compliance with the International Labour Organisation Convention “Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 1958.
The President called for payment of shortfall in April and May 2018 withheld salaries of health workers in the federal institutions and full implementation of Consolidated Health structure (CONHESS) for state workers.
Also speaking, the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Quaduri Olaleye, called on the Federal Ministry of Health and its labour counterpart to take urgent steps to ensure that the dichotomy in the sector is removed.
He stressed the need to restructure the sector and revamp all the obsolete facilities across the country to meet the demands of the 21st century.