Prof. Chris Bode, the acting Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Wednesday urged the striking health workers to embrace dialogue.
Bode made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the ongoing nationwide strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).. He said that incessant strikes was not the best way to press home demands. NAN reports that the national body of the union had on Nov. 12 embarked on an indefinite strike to press home its demands. “Doctors are on strike, nurses are on strike, JOHESU is on strike. Nowadays, doctors in government practice earn more than double what doctors earn in the private sector. You can go and check it out. But are we giving that service?
“ Are nurses who earn more than double what they earn in the private sector, are they giving that service? These are the questions you should ask. “If we are now earning so much, there should be a corresponding productivity that matches. And if you compare salaries of health workers in West Africa and even some other parts of Africa, Nigerians get paid more than anybody else. So, where is the productivity? “So, government will somewhere down the road I am sure have to ask those questions, we have been spending so much, where is the productivity? And that is the danger for us to continue this incessant strike action.
“We must embrace dialogue, especially that we are now in the era of democracy, and the currency of interaction in democracy is dialogue and lobbying.
“That is what we need to go and learn in the health sector and I am not talking of JOHESU alone and talking of everybody. They must learn how to lobby, they would get more than what they want.“
Bode, however appealed to health workers to call off their strike for the sake of Nigerians and in the in the spirit of yuletide.
“We are members of what is generally termed essential services. I am appealing to everybody that has gone on strike or that is still on strike that we should eschew this strike syndrome but dialogue and continued dialogue.
“So, we in the spirit of the season, this yuletide season come back to work as soon as possible. Training is suffering, service is suffering. Nigerians have even stopped talking of which number of people are dying.“ (NAN)
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