WITH a special appeal to its patients and members of the public to see reasons with them, health workers under the umbrella of the Nigerian Union of Allied Professionals (NUAHP) yesterday proceeded on an indefinite strike, affecting full operation of government owned hospitals.
The union is made up of physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, medical imaging scientists/radiographers, dietitians, dental technologists, dental therapists, occupational therapists, optometrists, medical social workers, clinical and psychologists, among others.
Medical and dental practitioners who belong to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and nurses and midwives who are members of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives are not part of the strike.
At exactly 8am yesterday, the union called its members across the country out for the strike. The union appealed to patients and members of the public to hold government responsible for the strike.
National President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Felix Faniran, who addressed journalists in Abuja on the commencement of the strike, accused the Federal Government of discrimination against allied healthcare professionals in favour of medical doctors.
He also accused outgoing Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, as been responsible for the unrest in the health sector.
Faniran attempted to justify the action, saying “Our Union’s National Executive Council met between 28th and 30th August, 2014 at Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, and gave an ultimatum to the Federal Ministry of Health, which expired on 30th September, 2014.
“Due to failure of the meeting between government and workers on 9th October, the National Administrative Council of our union was forced to summon an emergency NAC meeting on the 13th of October, 2014 to receive the reactions of our members to the report of the Federal Government/JOHESU meeting of 9th October, 2014.
“Having forwarded earlier on the report of the Government/JOHESU meeting outcome to all units and state councils of our union nationwide, the preponderant of the feedback from our members showed that our members are disillusioned, disappointed, embarrassed and frustrated by the government’s position and therefore demanded an immediate nationwide strike. Hence, the current decision of the union.”
He added: “It should be noted that this union joined other unions in the health sector to embark on a 3-day warning strike between 20th and 22nd of January, 2014 with a view to embarking on a nationwide strike four weeks after if the government did not meet our demands. Since then, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation intervened and has since engaged the unions at series of meetings without any serious achievements. So we are therefore left with no option than to embark on this strike.”
by Emeka Anuforo
Share this news with friends!!!