* Alleges govt’s plan to replace members
Professional health associations under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) yesterday vowed that they would not be cowed by the Federal Ministry of Health’s threat to introduce attendance register and enforce ‘no-work, no-pay’ rule.
JOHESU says the ministry is not the right authority to invoke that section of the law.
Spokesperson of the union, Godswill Okara, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, alleged that chief executives of federal health institutions have now gone ahead to recruit charlatans and quacks who are mainly their cronies and relatives to hold out as healthcare professionals attending to patients.
Okara said that instead of adopting an industrial conflict resolution approach, the Federal Ministry of Health is now set to exacerbate the situation and the overall impact of the ongoing strike on the populace.
He stated that the ministry on the same day that the strike action commenced issued an obnoxious circular aimed at not only sabotaging the strike action, but also jeopardising the life of healthcare-seeking members of the public.
Okara, who urged members across the country to resist the temptation to lure them to take up any form of employment, locum or otherwise, alleged that quacks are now holding sway and maiming patients in the process in some FMCs in the FCT and Owerri.
In the same vein, Chairman of JOHESU, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan Branch, Olusegun Sotiloye, who described the workers’ compliance to the industrial action as “satisfactory,” berated the government for not meeting with the union one week after the commencement of the strike.
He said: “We learnt that the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has sent a circular that the CMDs should engage the services of local officers to replace us. If the CMDs should accede to this directive, it would only worsen the situation. Any right-thinking government would not allow such to happen.” Sotiloye said.
Meanwhile, the strike action is already taking its toll on the UCH as only doctors and some senior nurses in mufti were seen carrying out some skeletal services.
All the administrative offices were under lock, just as laboratories were shut against patients.
The hospital had to engage the services of some private security personnel to man the gates leading to the hospital as the employed ones were also on strike.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the institution, Mr. Deji Bobade, whose office was also shut, said: “The strike is really taking its toll on the hospital and the management. As you can see, only the doctors are on skeletal duty because nurses who are to assist them are on strike. We only have some senior nurses on ground dressed in mufti to carry out some essential duties. The laboratories are shut. Even our administrative offices are shut, including my office. I am around to do some assessment and report to the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Temitope Longe, who will be going to Abuja tomorrow (today) for a meeting on this issue.”
By: Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ibadan) and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja)
The Guardian News
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