ON-GOING STRIKE ACTION BY THE JOINT HEALTH SECTOR UNION (JOHESU)
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) notes with concern the total and indefinite strike action declared by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), from 12 Midnight of 17th April 2017 principally aimed at arm-twisting the federal government to grant members of this union an undeserved and unjustifiable pay parity with medical doctors.
While MDCAN recognises the right of workers to negotiate terms of engagement with their employer, it is trite to state that this needs to be done within the ambit of extant laws and in compliance with international best practices as applicable to each sector of the economy.
Though MDCAN does not oppose an upward review of wages of workers in the health, and Indeed any other sector of the Nigerian economy, It is Important that the government be reminded to strictly take into account and comply with the existing relativity In wages of professional groups in the sector.
It is important to Inform those who may not be aware that there has not been any upward review of the CONMESS contrary to the disinformation being peddled by these striking workers to hoodwink them to gain public sympathy.
The adjustment of the CONMESS In 2014 was a correction of an error to restore relativity when the government realised that the principle of relativity foe which there is a valid and subsisting agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria had been inadvertently breached during the negotiation process. This corrected CONMESS is not an Increase in salary and should not be misconstrued as such.
Acceding to the current demands of JOHESU will create a fresh distortion In the relativity and certainly lead to another round of protracted crisis in the health sector.
MDCAN and indeed all medical and dental practitioners in the country will reject on its totality any action by the government that erodes this international best practice of relativity of wages In the health sector. This could lead to catastrophic consequences for health care delivery and medical education in the country.
Members of MDCAN across the country are directed to work with the management team of their hospitals to continue to provide services within limits of professional safety.
The striking health workers are warned to desist from harassing any member of MDCAN, medical doctors and indeed any other health worker willing to continue rendering services. MDCAN will not condone this and will take decisive actions to ensure that any such infraction is promptly, fully and conclusively addressed within the ambits of the law.
MDCAN appeals to Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of tertiary hospitals in the country to rise up to the occasion and take steps to provide necessary materials for service delivery and ensure the security and safety of Consultants and other workers who are not on strike.
In order to put an end to the recurrent crises that has bedevilled the health sector in Nigeria and ensure improvement of the country's health indices, the Federal Government of Nigeria must take a firm stand on this matter and follow it through. Implementation of the Yayale Ahmed Committee report on resolution of inter-professional disharmony In the health sector In Nigeria is central in this regard. Health service delivery has International ramifications and lessons must be learnt from more developed climes on how the various professional groups In the sector relate with each other including remuneration.
The time to stop the continuous loss of Times in our hospitals as a result of these unnecessary crises is now.
Professor Ngim E Ngim
Dr. Affiong Ibanga
Share this news with friends!!!