Health workers threaten strike, seek National Assembly intervention
• NMA expects junior members to call off action tomorrow
The nation’s health sector may shut down if nothing is done urgently by the National Assembly to address the protracted demands and agitations of health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA).
Members of JOHESU and AHPA include, all health workers besides medical doctors. The body makes up about 95 per cent of health workers and healthcare providers such as, pharmacists, nurses, laboratory scientists, radiographers among others.
JOHESU and AHPA, in separate letters to the leadership of the National Assembly, sought for urgent audience with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to avert on looming nationwide action.
The letters suggest that if their demands are not met by September 30, 2017, they may begin a nationwide indefinite strike in October.
National Chairman, JOHESU, Comrade Joy Josiah Biobelemoye, and National Secretary, JOHESU, Comrade Florence Akpebor, in letters to Saraki and Dogara dated September 5, 2017, said: “We write on behalf of the leadership of JOHESU and AHPA… to seek for your intervention in the protracted demands and agitations between JOHESU and the Federal Government since 2014 by granting us urgent audience on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at 10:00am or any other date not later than a week before September 30, 2017.’’
Meanwhile, the strike by resident doctors under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) enters its eight day today as hospitals remain open to the public but offering skeletal services.
Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Bode Chris, said that he is hopeful that the strike will be called off soon. President Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Mike Ogirima, told The Guardian yesterday: “We are waiting for them to call off the strike.’’
We expected them to at least suspend the strike on Friday after their congress but it seems they could not because of some constitutional issues. They will be meeting again on Tuesday.”
NMA is the parent body of all medical doctors and related associations in Nigeria.