Benue health workers to commence indefinite strike amid COVID-19 pandemic

Benue health workers to commence indefinite strike amid COVID-19 pandemic

- Benue health workers have announced that they will commence indefinite strike action on June 18

- The workers made the announcement when speaking with journalists in Makurdi, the Benue state capital

- Dr Diatah Jame, one of the leaders of the health workers union said they were being owed salary arrears

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Benue health workers have resolved to commence indefinite strike action on June 18, over unresolved issues in the state’s health sector.

The workers under the auspices of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) and Joint Health Sector Union ( JOHESU) said they will embark on strike after the state government failed to heed a 21-day ultimatum to address the issues, The Nation reported.

Dr Diatah Jame, the Benue state chairman of NAGGMD told journalists on Tuesday, June 16, that the health workers in the state were owed salary arrears of between five to nine months among other unmet demands.

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Benue health workers to commence indefinite strike amid COVID-19 pandemic
Benue health workers say they were being owed salary arrears. Photo credits: Daily Trust
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Meanwhile, the federal government has threatened to withdraw licenses of medical doctors who deliberately reject and turn back patients from their hospital without attending to them or offering necessary advice on what to do.

Nigerian Tribune reported that while describing it as unethical and unacceptable, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday, June 11, said doctors who engage in such unprofessional conduct would be reported to the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council, and if found guilty would have their licenses withdrawn. gathered that the minister gave this position, even as he raised concern over the rise in fatality rates and cases of COVID-19, saying, “although numbers are only creeping up compared to other countries and case fatality rate hovers around 3%, we are concerned and at high alert.”

Ehanire advised anyone who is rejected at any hospital or medical facility to write and complain to the board of such hospital, the federal ministry of health, or the state ministry of health in case of state hospitals.

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The minister pointed out that 61% of COVID-19 patients in the country were Asymptomatic, while 39% were symptomatic.

In another report, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has once again intervened in the planned strike action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Gbajabiamila said the leadership of the House would not fold its arms while resident doctors embark on strike at this time of COVID-19 pandemic.

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