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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Health workers trying to use strike to arm twist government – Minister

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The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has alleged that the health workers under the umbrella of the Joint Health Sector Union(JOHESU)  was trying to arm twist the federal government into implementing a non-existing agreement.

He said at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, that the union which began an indefinite strike across the country, last week Wednesday, never had any tangible agreement with the government other than ‘minutes of meeting’ which predates the current administration.

Adewole in his response to a question on what the federal government was doing to halt the strike, said a high level technical committee had been constituted to look into the financial demands raised by the union

JOHESU claims the resumption of the industrial action was predicated on alleged delay tactics and deliberate foot-dragging of the Federal Government in approving the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) similar to what was done for medical doctors’ Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) since January 2014 and also replicated with yet another approval for the same CONMESS in September, 2017 for the medical doctors.

The health workers grievances also stems from poor access to healthcare in the country, lack of strategies to institutionalise public health reforms to counter the menace of clinical disease like Lassa fever, Ebola and monkey-pox in the country.

The strike which has paralyzed services in government hospitals across the country is being spearheaded by Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU).

 

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