Doctors in the country have threatened to down tools across health institutions if the federal government gives in to the demands of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) who have been on strike the past three weeks.
Premium Times reports the doctors said their threat is coming on the heels of the direction given to state and local government workers to join the JOHESU strike in a bid to force the government to act.
In a statement on Thursday, May 10, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) noted that it was opposed to salary adjustment and harmonisation, one of the major demands of the striking health workers under JOHESU.
The newly elected president of NMA, Francis Faduyile, said the medical body reached an agreement with the government in 2014 not to accede to demands of other health workers relating to salary adjustments and harmonisation.
The statement read in part: "The NMA wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government to our correspondence of April 21, 2014 on the above, in which we reminded Government of the collective bargaining agreement we had with the Federal Government of Nigeria in January 2014.
“It is also pertinent to once again remind Government about the concluding part of our letter no. NMA/PRE/SG/03/0751 of 21st March 2014, which states, “In view of the above, the NMA painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government of Nigeria 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. Please take this as a notice sir”.
“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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Medical Association wishes to restate her positions on the various demands of JOHESU.
“We oppose vehemently, any adjustment in CONHESS SALARY SCALE with resultant pay parity between doctors and healthcare professionals allied to medicine, and hereby reaffirm that relativity is sacrosanct."
Legit.ng had reported that Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, the national chairman of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) on Wednesday, May 9, declared that the states and local governments will join the ongoing national health workers within 24 hours.
Premium Times reports that Josiah who made this known in Abuja said it is unfortunate that nothing has been done about the crisis, after a series of meetings with the government.
It was learnt that an association of all health workers except doctors, has been on strike for three weeks now.
The striking union had repeatedly vowed to press their state and local government counterparts to join, to bring maximum pressure on the federal government to meet their demands.
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