JOHESU: Nigeria’s health sector in comatose, disarray
The Joint Health Sector Union JOHESU currently on strike over government failure to honour labour agreements with it says Nigeria’s health industry is in disarray no thanks to insincerity on the part of the Federal Government.
National Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, (federal health institutions sector), Wale Olatunde said JOHESU as a body is pained by what patients are going through in public hospitals due to the industrial action, and called on government to give what rightly belongs to them so they can get back to work.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Olatunde also accused Health Minister Professor Isaac Adewole of insincerity in the negotiations with the union.
“Nobody is happy abandoning our patients. The essence of our training is to care for our patients but we also require care.
“These issues we are talking about started in 2009. We had an agreement with the Federal Government in 2014, it was jettisoned. We went on a 10-day strike in September last year where we signed another agreement with the Federal Government.
“But the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole came out to say there was no agreement between JOHESU and the government until we brought out papers signed by the parties involved. That goes to show the insincerity on the part of government,’ he said.
JOHESU said it was untrue that the health workers were asking to be paid as much as medical doctors in the country, but said its salary scale should also be reviewed as was done for medical doctors.
“We are not asking for a new salary table but we are saying adjust in line with what you have adjusted for others. But rather for them to face that reality, they begin to tell people that we are asking for equality with doctors. Is level eight the same thing as level 12? If l am able to rise to level 12, l should enjoy the benefits of level 12. All professors in the university earn the same salary; it doesn’t matter your discipline.
“The Wages and Salary Commission that is saddled with the responsibility of salary structure has once confirmed that what we are demanding is reasonable, but the Federal Ministry of Health said it was not satisfied. We are not begging for it because it is what rightly belongs to us.” he said.