Strike: FG, Johesu Meeting Ends In Deadlock

Nigeria’s nationwide health workers’ strike bites harder at UCH Ibadan

A security officer sleeps in front of a ward at the UCH Ibadan

It was learnt that an association of all health workers except doctors, has been on strike for three weeks now.

Nigerians seeking medical treatment in any of the federal, state and local government-owned hospitals may go elsewhere as the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, yesterday, directed its members in the states and local government areas to join the ongoing health workers strike by midnight (Wednesday).

Another patient, Mrs. Blessing Owei, said her health had been deteriorating because of the strike action.

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It was gathered that doctors at the hospital were only attending to emergency cases even as new patients were no longer being admitted.

However, many patients who visited the facility for doctors' attention were sent back, A visit to the departments such as Haematology, Paediatrics and the administrative complexes showed that the support staff totally complied with the order. The Director of Clinical Services, LASUTH, Dr Adeolu Adedokun, said that the industrial dispute was not between the hospital and the striking workers but a directive from their national body.

A doctor at the hospital, Dr. Charles Tulagha, confirmed that the strike action had paralysed activities at the centre.

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"We have chose to try and mitigate the effects of the strike by our members".

The administrative office of the heamatology department where the patients' records are kept was under lock and other offices and some of the laboratories. According to Joke Lawan, the strike was an unfortunate development of the reckless leadership the country has had since independence.

He said: "The act of discrimination by the federal government remained the major albatross to peaceful coexistence of health practitioners in the health industry in Nigeria".

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"We once again remind government about the concluding part of our letter no. NMA/PRE/SG/03/0751 of March 21, 2014, which states, 'In view of the above, the NMA painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government that any award to the non-medically qualified health professionals that violates the January and July agreements of 2014 shall result in the resumption of the suspended withdrawal of service of 2014", they stated.

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