By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze
Abuja — Following the inability of the Federal Government to meet the demands of the striking health workers, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has directed state and local council health workers to join the strike nationwide with effect from midnight, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
The National Chairman of JOHESU, Josiah Biobelemoye, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Abuja, alleged that the Federal Government had not shown any seriousness in meeting their demands.
Biobelemoye alleged that after three meetings held on April 26, 2018, May 2, 2018 and May 7, 2018 respectively at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment to find a way forward, the Federal Ministry of Health is bent on thwarting all efforts at reaching an amicable settlement of the issues of their demands, especially the upward adjustment of CONHESS salary structure.
He said the preferential treatment given to medical doctors had remained the major albatross to peaceful co-existence among health practitioners in the health industry in Nigeria.
Biobelemoye said: “This strike was earlier limited to the tertiary health institutions thinking that government shall be honourable to implement the signed Memorandum of Terms of Settlement of September 30, 2017.
“Since the government has not shown enough commitment to toe the path of honour and meet our demands, especially the core demand for the upward adjustment of CONHESS salary structure as agreed, we were left with no option than to direct state and local council health workers to join the strike nationwide.”
The JOHESU chairman, commended members who despite all provocations and intimidation have stood firm to defend their right, saying: “Our own demand for the adjustment of CONHESS that affects over 95 per cent of the health workforce nationwide has been frustrated, and part of the reason is that the Minister of Health, Minister of State for Health and Minister of Labour and Employment, who are all medical doctors, feel unconcerned on matters of welfare of other healthcare providers. This is quite unfortunate.”