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Crisis Looms In Nigerian Hospitals As Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike Today

Federal health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have announced that it will on Tuesday (today) embark on an indefinite strike that certainly will paralyse activities in all health institutions across the country.

It is understood that the industrial action became necessary following the failure of the Federal Government to implement the agreement it reached with health workers last year.

“All federal government health institutions in Nigeria including federal medical centres, specialists’ hospitals, orthopedic hospitals, psychiatric hospitals among others will be the first to shut down. If the government allows the strike to continue after two weeks, all the states and local government health institutions will now join,” the National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, Ogbonna Chimela, told newsmen on Monday.

The members of JOHESU are hospital workers, including nurses and pharmacists, but excluding medical doctors and dentists.

Mr Chimela said the strike will commence from midnight on Tuesday.

Also confirming the strike action, the President of the Union, Josiah Biobelemoye, alleged that the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, had been treating the union members as slaves.

He said this when he led the union executive on a courtesy visit to  Jafaru Momoh, chief medical director of the National Hospital, Abuja.

He said the minister failed to implement the agreement reached by the union with the federal government on September 30, 2017, for upward adjustment of CONHESS.

Biobelemoye said the implementation of the agreement was supposed to begin five weeks after it was signed “as was done for medical doctors”.

He said JOHESU accounted for 95 percent of health sector workers in the country but regretted that the union’s demands were always taken for granted.

“We are committed to ensuring peace in the sector hence for the past three years we resisted strike but we should not be forced to withdraw the peace,” he said.

“Help us to tell government. All we are saying is equity, justice and peace.

“We love Nigerians and government should help us love Nigerians the more by doing the needful.”

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