Health Workers Threaten Strike over Unpaid Allowances, Lack of PPE

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Minister of state for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The leadership of the Medical and Health Workers Union of has said that its members may be forced to embark on industrial action if federal government fails to address their demands.

The union threatened that if the meeting with the minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, scheduled for today (Wednesday) fails to yield expected results, it will issue a short notice for strike.

Federal government had earlier said that it has released funds for the payment of the health workers hazards allowances.

However, addressing journalists yesterday afternoon at the union’s headquarters in Abuja, the President of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Comrade Josiah Biobelemoye said its members were aggrieved over the delay in the payment of the recently approved hazard allowance for frontline health workers involved in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

He said that the delay in effecting the payment of the new allowances is now generating huge uproar within the health system, hence the convening of an emergency meeting to enable things to be sorted out.

“There have been protests in many hospitals but we as leaders have stepped in that they should not allow this to break down.

“The ministry of health has invited JOHESU for a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). We are appealing to our members all over the country to exercise a little patience with us. We are hoping that by the end of tomorrow’s meeting, the ministry if health will think better than pushing us into shutting the health system down and the ministry of health will correct its misinterpreted documents,” he said.

The JOHESU president said that effort will be made at the meeting to see how they can salvage the situation and to prevent a total shutdown of the health system in this period.

He said that the health workers are very mindful of the consequences of shutting down the health sector.