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Rural areas often face a lack of essential healthcare services.

JOHESU, Other Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Health Care Professional Association (AHPA) have declared indefinite strike.

To this end, the unions have directed health workers in the country to stay away from their duty posts pending the time the issues that led to the actions were addressed by the federal government.

Addressing the media in Abuja on Thursday, the executive members of the unions, led by the National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, explained that the action became necessary given that the federal government failed to meet its demands.

JOHESU is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations, including the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, and Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.

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The unions’ demands include immediate approval and implementation of the Technical Committee Report on CONHESS adjustment by the federal government; immediate payment of the omission and shortfall in the COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances of affected health workers in the federal health institutions and recognition of health workers in non-core hospital facilities in the payment of new hazard allowances and payment and inculcation of peculiar allowances to health workers under the JOHESU/AHPA.

Others are immediate and unconditional implementation of the Pharmacist Consultant cadre; unconditional payment of all withheld salaries of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and April and May, 2018 salaries of members at National Obstetric, Fistula centre (NOFIC), Azare, Bauchi State and speedy implementation of the increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years and 70 years for consultants in the health professions.

The leadership of JOHESU had in a letter dated May 9, 2023, issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over alleged inconsistencies of the government in the ongoing negotiations to adjust the Consolidated Health Salary Structure for health workers on their platforms.

The action of the health workers’ unions came after the expiration of the ultimatum on Thursday.