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Crisis looms in hospitals as workers commence nation-wide strike

Services in the public health care facilities may be disrupted except the planned nation-wide strike planned to commence midnight Tuesday is averted.

The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, an umbrella union consisting of 95% of health workers in the public sector says it will commence an indefinite strike by midnight Tuesday that will paralyse activities in all health institutions across the country.

National Vice Chairman of the union Ogbonna Chimela, announced the strike on Monday to the media.

“All federal government health institutions in Nigeria including federal medical centres, specialists’ hospitals, orthopedic hospitals, psychiatric hospitals among others will be the first to shut down. If the government allows the strike to continue after two weeks, all the states and local government health institutions will now join,” Mr Chimela said.

According to the union, six months after it agreed to suspend its last strike, the government is yet honour the provisions of the deal.

Last month, the union further gave the government a 30 days ultimatum.

“Before now we gave the government 21 working days as an ultimatum. Last month, we also threatened to go on strike after 30 days which will expire tomorrow and government have not done anything tangible.

“They only invited us on the 5th of April told us that our issues are being looked into as usual without any concrete effort on how they are planning to meet our demand. So our National Executive Council (NEC) met in Abuja and appraised the situation and we resolved to continue with the strike, no going back”, the union leader said.

Meanwhile, health minister, Isaac Adewole says the government is working to avert the strike.

“We are reaching out to abort the strike. Almost all demands have been met. Government is looking into remaining issues to address them comprehensively,” he said.

Medical doctors in public hospitals on Tuesday say they will not join the proposed strike.


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