Health workers across Nigeria will today begin indefinite strike, few weeks after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) called of its own strike.
The Union which is under the auspices of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), comprising of pharmacists, physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists, dieticians, radiographers/imaging scientists, dental technologists, occupational therapists, health information officers and dental therapists. The members were under the instruction of the national leadership to embark on strike from today.
This was made known to journalists at a press briefing held at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, where the National President of the union, Felix Faniran, said NUAHP did not have any option other than to embark on the strike.
He said it had to do with the preferential treatment for members of NMA against members of NUAHP by the Federal Government, recalling that the agitation of the concerned allied healthcare professionals border on a 12-point demand.
According to him, the demands included appointment of Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and advertisements for the posts of CMD and medical directors of tertiary hospitals in Nigeria purportedly skewed in favour of medical practitioners and need for commencement of residency training programme for other health professionals as recommended by Abdullahi Bello Committee in 2011.
Faniran apologised to patients and members of the public for what he described as avoidable action, “the government should be held responsible for the mess.
“Our union’s National Executive Council met between August 28 and 30, 2014, at Asokoro District Hospital in Abuja and gave an ultimatum to the Federal Ministry of Health, which expired on September 30, 2014.
“Due to failure of the meeting between government and workers on October 9, the National Administrative Council (NAC) of our union was forced to summon an emergency NAC meeting on October 13, 2014 to receive the reactions of our members to the report of Federal Government/JOHESU meeting of October 9, 2014.”