Strike: NMA Raises Concern over Locking of Clinical Services, Equipment by JOHESU Members

  • FG to end mistrust between health workers, doctors

Paul Obi in Abuja

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) thursday expressed concern over the locking up of clinical services and equipment in public health facilities by members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) who are on a nationwide indefinite strike.

Medical doctors and health workers under JOHESU have been at loggerhead over the running of public hospitals in the country.

There have been reported cases of conflicts and in-fighting between health workers and medical doctors in public hospital since the commencement of the nationwide strike by JOHESU last two weeks.

But in a statement signed by the NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, and General Secretary, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, the association said: “It is no longer news that healthcare professionals allied to medicine have embarked on strike to press home some demands which they termed legitimate but could best be described as spurious, what is news is the recent attempt by these striking workers to frustrate healthcare delivery services to the masses by our members.

“The striking allied health workers have resorted to undue brigandage and desperate antics in an attempt to prevent our members from offering healthcare services to Nigerians.

“They now lock up clinical service points and equipment, thereby making it difficult for our members to operate smoothly within the hospital environment, and other disruptive acts including thuggery.”

The NMA therefore called on “the CMDs/MDs of government-owned health facilities to provide adequate security for doctors and contract staff who are currently offering services within the hospitals.

“The lies being peddled around by JOHESU regarding our members’ emoluments is an attempt to hoodwink the public against Nigerian doctors.

“The commendable directive of the Federal Ministry of Health to Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Ffederal government health facilities to ensure service delivery during this trying period.

“We observe with dismay the maligning of the Ministers of Health and Labour and Productivity by JOHESU, calling them all sorts of uncomplimentary names, and the call by JOHESU for the removal of the Hon Min of Health.

“This act of rascality, disregard for these two offices and the call for the removal of the Minister of Health has finally exposed their motive for disrupting the progress recorded in the Ministry of Health in the last three years of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“One wonders if the salary of JOHESU members is all that the health ministry is about. We therefore call on the federal government and its representatives, including the minister of health and that of labour and productivity, not to be distracted but continue to stand with the truth and international best practices in ensuring the improvement of the health indices of Nigerians.

“We appreciate once again the National Assembly for the inclusion of one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund meant for basic health care provision to Nigerians in accordance with the dictates of the National Health Act 2014 into the 2018 appropriation bill.”

Also, the federal government yesterday said plans are underway to end mistrust between medical doctors and other health workers in the health sector.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stated this when the Nigerian Health Institutions Chairmen Forum (NHICF) visited the minister in Abuja.

Adewole stated that “efforts would be made to bring JOHESU and NMA together on a round table so that solutions could be sought for the nagging problems causing division and mistrust in the sector.”

The minister assured the group that the Federal Ministry of Health has a lot of sympathy for JOHESU in that most of the demands presented by the union have been given favourable consideration

NHICF President, Dr. Sam Jaja, explained that the forum is charged with the objective of promoting the health policies of government with a view of articulating them; shield the Health sector from undue politicisation and identify with challenges encountered by health institutions and the entire sector at large.