JOHESU orders members in states, LGs to join strike

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A meeting between the federal government and the striking health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has again ended with no agreement, a leader of the union has said.

JOHESU members are five registered associations including the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutes (SSAUTHRIA), Nigerian Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the Non Academic Staff Unions (NASU), Medical and Health Workers Union (NHWU) and the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Workers (NUAHP). One of the patients who brought her daughter for treatment told the New Telegraph that although there were medical doctors on duty, they did not see patients.

A patient, who gave his name simply as Nathaniel, said that because of the strike action, his physiotherapy session at the hospital had been put on hold, adding that his child who was also supposed to be immunised at the hospital had not been immunised.

"We don't have any problems with our staff here, we are fine with them".

"The above reminder is predicated on the extension of the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the amorphous body called "JOHESU", to States and Local government areas, the basis of which is to strengthen its callous and ill motivated agitation for pay parity between her members and doctors with the resultant erosion of relativity and further hierarchical distortion in the health sector vis-à-vis her clandestine romance with some top government officials".

According to the National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, Ogbonna Chimela, the government in the meeting held Wednesday said they are preparing an offer for the union.

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"We are trying our best to attend to the patients in spite of the strike action", he stated.

Many patients were stranded as the card units, the Pharmaceutical outlets and many other departments remained shut.

Also, as the strike continues, teaching hospitals across the country have lamented the damage the strike has had on patients and the health sector.

"The government has not shown any seriousness to meet our demands and the existence of fifth columnists in and out of government who are bent on escalating and prolonging the strike for their selfish interest of privatisation of government hospitals, and buy these government legacies for themselves has not helped out".

Reacting to the development, the leadership of JOHESU, said it was still checking the level of compliance to the directive issued to states and local governments to down tools at their respective health facilities.