Health workers in Nigeria suspend planned nationwide strike

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Indications emerged today (Friday) that the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has suspended its planned nationwide strike schedule to commence on October 8.

Information made available to HealthNewsNG.com this evening the decision to suspend the strike was reached following the invitation of the leaders of the union to a roundtable discussion with representatives of the government. The meeting is scheduled to hold on October 9 in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the union issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Nigerian government to address it demands. The union is asking the government to look into the issue of non promotion of its members from salary CONHESS 14 – 15 as directors having stayed for 4 to 15 years on the same salary level without promotion in most fedral tertiary hospitals.

Among other demands, JOHESU is asking for the immediate release of circular on adjustment of salary as done for members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) since January 2014 and immediate payment of at least two months arrears while the remaining are paid with 2015 budget.

A cross section of members of the union expressed disappointment on the decision of union’s executives to suspend the strike.

“JOHESU chickens out every time meanwhile our contemporaries have already been paid what they wanted,” a member said.

Another commented, “The Nigerian government does not want it soft with us, so JOHESU should not allow herself to be deceived again. We can make 2015 ineffective if that is what the president wants.”

A number of members urged the union to go ahead with the planned strike and call it off if the roundtable discussion yields favorable results for the union.

On social media, Nigerians that are not health professionals are urging the Nigerian government to take urgent steps to address the issue of incessant strikes in the nation’s health sector.

Evans and several others who commented on Nairaland urged the Nigerian government to deregulate the health sector.

Obino added, “It’s the patients I pity in all these. The doctors, the pharmacists, the nurses, the med lab scientists, etc are all selfish and self-centred. That of the doctors is worse. God help our healthcare system and save it from total collapse.”

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