The federal government on Monday directed the governing boards of federal tertiary health institutions to convene emergency meetings and order striking health workers to return to work.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, who gave the directive during an emergency meeting with chief medical directors and medical directors of tertiary hospitals in Abuja, said the meeting was aimed to review the status of services being rendered at the various health institutions in view of the ongoing strike.
The minister, in the statement signed by the Director, Media and Public Relations, Boade Akinola, said anyone who fails to resume after the directives of the governing boards, would be considered to have absconded from duty without leave.
This, he said is a serious misconduct in line with the Public Service rule 030413.
The minister said monitoring teams were dispatched to the tertiary hospitals to assess the activities in various hospitals.
He further added that the monitoring teams submitted reports to the ministry which revealed that some hospitals were doing well in providing care, while others were performing below expectation.
Members of Joint Health Sector Workers Union (JOHESU) have been on strike over pay parity with medical doctors since April 17.
Other demands include increment in salary and increase in retirement age of health workers.
However, Adewole said everyone who participated in the strike would not be paid for the period of the strike even if the strike was called off.
“We want you to go back and restore services in your various institutions immediately,” he said.
The minister urged chairmen of the boards to take charge of their facilities and that any chief executive not willing to keep the services running should be suspended and be replaced with another officer in acting capacity.