Health workers acting under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike by February 27th.
The workers, including pharmacists, physiotherapists, dental technologists, medical laboratory scientists, and other related professionals, excluding medical doctors marched from Lagos State University Hospital, Ikeja to the Lagos State Government House, Alausa on Thursday.
The National President of the union, Mr. Obinna Ogbonna, called on the Federal Government to through the Ministry Of Health, Abuja to implement the collectively bargained agreement with the unions in order to curb the incessant strikes in the sector.
Ogbonna said,“The FMOH should recognise and obey court orders. It should give instructions to the CMDs to also do the needful to ensure there is autonomy, freedom of expression to other healthcare professionals in their various facilities.
“That will help us curb the incessant acrimony, strikes and disharmony in the health sector,”
Also speaking, the South-West Zonal Coordinator of the union, Mr Eke Uzondu, urged the government to see to the welfare of workers within the ministry.
Uzondu said, “The workers have suffered enough, especially those that are not medical practitioners. All health workers are suffering one thing or the other; there are no equipment, facilities are not available and there is lack of training and retraining of personnel. Some of the equipment is obsolete, the working environment is not conducive and arrears are being owed.
“These do not motivate the workers and if anything, kill the morale of the workers.”
Uzondu urged the government to make policies that would prevent strife, dichotomy, but rather policies that would build team spirit.
“For us to work as a team, there must be level ground; with this, if everybody is recognised, allowed to grow at their own pace and respected, it will be one of the greatest motivation, ”he said.
Some of the demands of the workers include payment of promotion arrears, review of health worker’ tax and payment of arrears of salaries.
Others include skipping of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) 10, appointment of consultants, professional autonomy, and pension arrears.
By: Bukola Adebayo
The Punch News
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