Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Health workers issue strike notice over professional disparity

The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals, AHPA, have issued a 15-day ultimatum to the federal government to pay attention to their demands or face industrial action.

JOHESU is coalition of five registered unions; Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, NUAHP, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU.

In a statement made available to The Abuja Inquirer in Lagos, JOHESU demands for "the Implementation of the spirit of the new circular on promotion of our members from CONHESS 14 to 15 as directors which places premium on the need to sanction defaulting hospital managements.

"Specific steps must be taken by the Head of Service of the federation to ensure the expedited issuance of an enabling circular authorizing consultancy cadre for health professionals that have adhered to due process, to be vested with consultancy status as a prelude to including this cadre into the schemes of service of these health professionals.”

The union however seized the opportunity to remind government that the Ministry of Health cannot continue to be seen as an impartial arbiter that does not disguise its bias towards the preferences of only one profession in a multi-disciplinary sector.

Stating further, "JOHESU strongly demands that the Federal Ministry of Health must now come up with a circular on residency programmes for all health professionals in Nigeria to ensure professional capacity development in the health sector as this will strengthen our national health system and stem medical tourism.

"Immediate and full payment of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10 which remains outstanding since the year 2010. Immediate and unconditional release of the circular on adjustment of salary since January 2014 and immediate payment of at least 2 months arrears, while the balance is accommodated with proven evidence in the 2016 budget.

“Payment of arrears of specialist allowances to qualified hospitals based health professionals with effect from January 1, 2010, should be ensured without any delay whatsoever."

JOHESU said the clamour becomes even more valid against the background that the union caters for the interest of the workforce in the healthcare industry it represents.

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