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Surgeon General - Health Workers Threaten Legal Action
Date Posted: 16/Jan/2014
Following the acceptance of the post of a surgeon general in principle by President Goodluck Jonathan, health workers in the nation's tertiary health institutions, have threatened to exploit all options available to them, including legal action to thwart the decision.
The team leaders of the health workers under the aegis of the Assembly of Health Workers and Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU), disclosed this on Wednesday when they paid a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPERS LIMITED in Abuja.
However, the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, had defended the position of a surgeon general, saying that it would help to fill the lacuna in the constitution which provides for fitness certification of governors in office.
The president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo declared that all avenues would be exploited including legal.
He said, "Sometimes you cannot help but imagine that there are elements who are bent on institutionalising Nigeria to a banana republic. I have been reviewing various comments by key government officials in the last few hours, especially Nigeria's minister of health.
It is clear that our liberty is being threatened because the body language is clear that government is going to ahead with the appointment of a surgeon general.
The conventional propriety dictates that we have a chartered liberty to exercise our right.
I will in consultation with relevant stakeholders in the health sector take a decisive action meant to preserve our liberty in the days ahead."
Akintayo stated that JOHESU and Assembly of Health Workers account for about 95 per cent of the workforce in the health sector as compared to medical doctors who constituted only 5 per cent, saying it was painful that the federal government would treat them with disdain.
" We don't need to create that office. The office of a surgeon general is not going to add value.
They say it will curb medical tourism but who is that superman from Pluto that would do these wonders? We're going to do anything legally possible to assert our right," he stressed.

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