Health forum urges govt., JOHESU to end strike

Empty paediatric section at the National Hospital
Paediatric section at the National Hospital

The Interim officials of the Nigerian Health Institutions Chairmen Forum (NHICF) have called on the federal government and the striking health workers to find a lasting solution to the ongoing strike.

NHICF is charged with the objective of promoting the health policies of government with a view to articulating them; shielding the health sector from undue politicisation and identifying with challenges encountered by health institutions.

In a press statement released by the ministry on Thursday, the forum led by its chairman, Sam Jaja, paid a courtesy visit to the minister of health, Isaac Adewole as part of efforts to seeking solution to the lingering crisis.

JOHESU, a union comprising all professional health workers in the health sector aside medical doctors and dentists, has been on strike for about five weeks. This has crippled activities in almost all secondary and tertiary health institutions across the country

The minister said a series of meetings geared towards bringing the faceoff to an end have been held between the striking union, Ministry of Labour and the health ministry resulting in a court order asking the striking workers to return to work while negotiation continues.

Mr Adewole said, while waiting for the union to obey the order, efforts would be made to bring JOHESU and NMA together to a roundtable so that solutions could be sought for the nagging problems causing division.

He, however, assured that his ministry has a lot of sympathy for JOHESU and that most of the demands presented by the union have been given “favourable consideration.”

The minister assured the forum that the faceoff would soon come to an end.

The chairman, Governing Board, Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Sule-Iko Sami, observed that though doctors were at their duty posts at various hospitals, patients were still scared to visit hospitals for healthcare.

He appealed to the !inister to “bring his years of experience as a former union president to bear in persuading the striking staff to return to work.”

Mr Sami also promised to meet with members of NMA and JOHESU to look at ways of ending the crisis.

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