Communique Issued at the End of the Meeting of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) at the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) Secretariat at No.12, Aba Close, Garki Abuja on 12th and 13th August 2014
Following the JOHESU/AHPA meeting with his excellency, the secretary to the government of the federation, senator anyim pius anyim, GCON, Honourable minister of labour and Productivity, Honourable Minister of state for health, chairman salaries, income and wages commission, permanent secretary, federal ministry of health, representative of the head of the civil service of the federation and other top government functionaries on 12th august, 2014, the JOHESU and AHPA held its meeting at MHWUN secretariat on 12th ad 13th august 2014 to extensively review the meeting with the government on the lingering and other issues between government and JOHESU and resolved as follows"
STATE OF THE NATION
A) EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE OUTBREAK
JOHESU observed the outbreak of ebola virus disease through patrick sawyer an american liberian. JOHESU commends the governemtn for the efforts put up so far to curtail the spread of the disease. however, JOHESU Observed that a lot still needed to be done in protecting the citizens especially the health workers.
JOHESU commensurate with the family of one of us (NURSE) who died in active service as a result of the ebola infection. We urge the government to adequately compensate the family of the deceased and make adequate provision for the protection of other health workers. The incident has further shown that members of JOHESU are more prone to hazards on the job. The death of the nursr also proves that a patient does not necessarily go to the hospital to see medical practitioner but to get treated.
B) NMA STRIKE
While not grudging the NMA Demands, we want to point out that the strike embarked upon by NMA is illegal. JOHESU noted with dismay that the injuction restraining the medical and dental consultants association from embarking on strike was not obeyed as it claims that their members are also NMA members. JOHESU Calls on NMA to observe the rule of law and call off the strike in the interest of the patients and the national emergency situation in the country.
2) LOPSIDEDNESS AND UNLAWFUL CONSTITUTION OF BOARDS OF MANAGEMENT OF VARIOUS TERTIARY HEALTH INSTITUTIONS
JOHESU/ AHPA noted that the lopsidedness in the constitution of the boards of various managements of tertiary health institutioins still exists. however, the appointment of NASU representative on the board of the federal medical center, owo and NANNM representative at FMC Jalingo and university of abuja teaching hospital gwagwalad was commendable. The JOHESU Requested that subsequent vacancies in the various boards should be filled by her nominees whose names are already submitted by the unions in JOHESU. Our union branches are to put JOHESU on notice whenever vacancies exists on the boards of various institutions.
3) UPWARD REVIEW OF RETIREMENT AGE FROM 60 TO 65 YEARS
Arising from the meeting, it was confirmed that the onosode white paper on retirement age has been authenticated by the secretary to the government of the federation and has been transmitted to the head o f the civil service of the federation for the use of the 12 man committee on national council on establishment for the conclusion of the assignment. it was therefore agreed that relevent circular on the subject matter be issued on or before the end of august 2014
4) CIRCULAR ON CONSULTANCY STATUS FOR OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
It was reemphasised at the meeting that government has not reneged on the agreement with JOHESU on the circular issued on this matter on the 16th of May 2014. However, the recent circular of 18th july 2014 signed by the honourable minister of state for health is of no effect as it contradictss itself and the 22nd july 2013 NICN pronouncement on this issue.
the government has agreed that the section 1 (iv) of the circular reference number: FH/PM/138/VOL 111/85 of 18th july 2014 would be expunged because it runs contrary to the NICN Judgement of 22nd july 2013. furthermore, JOHESU Frowned at the practise of the minister of state for health issuing and signing of circuars which is a usurpation of the right of the office of the head of civil service or permanent secretary, federal ministry of health as appropriate.
5) ABOLITION OF THE POST OF DEPUTY CHAIRMAN MEDICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (DCMAC)
JOHESU observed that the circular reference number HMH/ABJ/155/Viii/348 issued by the federal ministry of health on 14th july 2014 validating the continued appointment of DCMAC which earlier had been abolished. JOHESU Vehemently condemned its reintroduction and insisted that the position earlier agreed on should be sustained because the post is unlawful and an unestablished positon in the scheme of service, a shortcut to give advantage to university lecturers who are part time staff over the permanent staff of the hospitals, wast of scarce resources and meant to prevent the JOHESU members from attaining the position of directors as provided for in the schemes of service. Governemnt appealed to allow it to stay pending the outcome of yayale Ahmed Presidential committee.
6) CIRCULARIZATION OF PROPER PLACEMENT OF INTERN MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTIST ON CONHESS 8 STEP 2
Government has issued the circular placing medical laboratory scientist interns on CONHESS 8 STEP 2 as appropriate. However, JOHESU observed that there was no mention of post NYSC placement in the circular. Government agreed to include it as obtainable for other professions such as physiotherapy, pharmacy and radiography.
7) ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES/ ALLOWNACES IN LINE WITH THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT OF 2009 AS IT WAS DONE FOR NMA IN THE SAME SECTOR IN JANUARY 2014
JOHESU was informed that there was a need to formaly inaugurate the committee to validate and do the needful on the financial implications of the adjustments and to capture it in the 2015 budget. The inauguration of the committee to be chaired by the ministry of finance will take place on 25th august 2014. The JOHESU considered this on the condition that the implementation of the circular issued for NMA in january 2014 on salary adjustment should also be deferred till 2015. Otherwise both groups should be treated equally without discrimination.
8) PAYMENT OF ARREARS OF SKIPPING OF CONHESS 10
The governemtn stressed the fact that there was paucity of fund, coupled with the national emergency situation that the country is going through. More importantly, there was no provison for it in 2014 budget. the JOHESU was not happy about this development and warned that the all or none law should be applied on this matter (i.e recent arrears on the adjustment of CONMESS which was approved in january 2014 should not be paid leaving that of CONHESS 10 skipping which has been lingering since 2011)
9) PROMOTION OF OFFICERS FROM CONHESS 14 TO 15 AS DIRECTORS
The meeting was alarmed when it saw the list of JOHESU Members who were deprived of their promotion ranging from 10 to 15 years in their various institutions. It was therefore decided that such officers be promoted without further delay while the defaulting institutions should be sanctioned by the government. The branches of our unions should endeavour to submit the list of stagnated members to JOHESU for onward delivery to the federal ministry of health for appropriate action.
10) ISSUES BEFORE YAYALE AHMED PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE
1) Appointment of CMDs/MDs of teaching hospitals in accordance with the extant laws and the need to give consideration to permanent staff of the hospital rather than the university based personnel
2) Advertorial for appointment of CMDs/ MDs should no longer be skewed in favour of one professional group but made open to all competent and qualified health professionals
The decision of govrnment to allow the current situation of appointmet to continue is unacceptable by JOHESU in the senst that the law which provided for medically qualified person to be appointed CMD does not approve the position solely for medical practioners. Pending the conclusion of yayale ahmed presidential committee, JOHESU members who are qualified should be equally considered.
11) APPROVAL OF RESIDENCY PROGRAM FOR OTHER HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
JOHESU noticed that in 2010 Abdullahi Bello Presidentail panel was established to look into the disharmony in the health sector. One of its recommendations was that residency program should be established for other healthcare professionals as applicable to the medical and dental practitioner counterparts. up till now, nothing has been done. JOHESU therefore demands that residency training program should be estalished for her clinical professional members without further delay.
JOHESU Expects the governemnt to issue all the necessary circulars (upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, modification of circular on consultancy for other health professionals dated 18th july 2014, circularization of proper placemnt of intern medical laboratory scientists on CONHESS 8 STEP 2) on or before 29th august 2014 to avert any industrial action
- See more at: http://www.medicalworldnigeria.com/2014/08/johesu-ahpa-threatens-29th-august-ultimatum-issues-communique#.U-4C5eNdUqM
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