Healthcare: Why JOHESU, ARD-OOUTH workers suspend strikes

*JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery ─ Josiah Biobelemoye, National Chairman

*ARD of OOUTH suspends its industrial action after reaching agreement with Ogun State Government on its demands

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Though the Union says its demands for parity in the payment of hazard and inducement allowances to workers in the frontline containing the spread of COVID-19 yet remain unsettled by the Federal Government, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has suspended its seven-day nationwide warning strike and directed its members to resume work.

Mr. Josiah Biobelemoye, JOHESU National Chairman, who in a statement disclosed this at this at the end of its expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting Sunday, in Abuja, FCT, directed all members of the Union to resume work September 21 and also await further directives.

ConsumerConnect recalls that members of JOHESU and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) had embarked on a seven-day warning strike to press on its demands from the Federal Government.

The union’s demands include disparity in the payment of hazard and inducement allowances to workers in the frontline containing the spread of novel COVID-19 pandemic among others.

Biobelemoye stated: “I bring fraternal greetings to you from the entire members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA).

“This is to bring to your notice that the 7-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) would come to an end midnight of today, September 20.

The National Chairman noted that “by this notice, all health workers under the five Unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) shall return to work on Monday, September 21, 2020, across all Federal Health Institutions in the country.

JOHESU Healthcare Workers 

“However, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has continued to exhibit high level of bias/discrimination by refusing to address the demands of our members as presented by JOHESU within the seven days of the warning strike as was done to other bodies in the health sector.

The Union said that “the next line of action would be decided in due course by the expanded National Executive Council of JOHESU.”

According to Biobelemoye, rather than call JOHESU for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute, the Federal Government has resorted to intimidation and blackmail of the union leaders using all forms of instruments and faceless organisations.

However, he maintained that JOHESU would continue to use all legitimate means to defend the rights and demands for the welfare of its members in the health sector.

“Nigerians should bear us witness that JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Association of Resident Doctors, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (ARD, OOUTH), has suspended its industrial action after reaching agreement with the State Government on its demands.

Dr. Popoola Abiodun, Presiden,t and Dr. Osundara Adewale, General Secretary of the Association, stated this in joint communiqué Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State  after an online emergency meeting.

They said further most notable is the agreement Ogun State Government reached with ARD, OOUTH and other doctors in Ogun State.

“It is common knowledge that our agitations and concerns are valid with substance,” the Association said.

They stated that the government has created an atmosphere of trust by offering solution to these agitations and concerns.

The communiqué noted that “we cannot fail to mention the effort of the Secretary to the State government Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, and that of the Chief of Staff to the government, Alhaji Shuaib Afolabi.

“We would not have accomplished this feat without your enormous input, forthrightness and candid gestures.

“Based on the foregoing, our members have decided to give full commitment to health services as required.”

They added: “Therefore, we have suspended industrial action to allow continuity of health services”.

“We as medical professionals are concerned about the health of our people in Ogun state.

“Our members shall give their best to ensure good health delivery without any form of hesitation to service.”

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