FMC Abeokuta Health workers begin indefinite strike

The management said it hopes to resolve the dispute before the weekend.

The Staff of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Abeokuta under the banner of the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, on Tuesday embarked on an indefinite strike.

The workers said the strike was to protest the failure of the management to implement the agreement on promotion of members from level 14, Assistant Director to level 15, Director.

The aggrieved workers also alleged that the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Oladapo Sotiloye, was flippant with the rights of workers.

PREMIUM TIMES observed that hospital, located in Idi-Aba area of Abeokuta, was deserted on Tuesday with only a few medical doctors and some management staff seen working.

Also some wards and departments in the hospital, including the Emergency ward, Pharmacy, Labour Ward, Antenatal and Postnatal wards, General Out-Patient Department, Specialist Clinic, theatre among others were under lock and key .

PREMIUM TIMES also learnt that at the Gynae ward, some discharged patients refused to leave.

There were also reports that that two patients died at the emergency ward while one died at Gynae ward few hours after the strike started. PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm the reports.

The state Chairman, Senior Staff Association, of the FMC Abeokuta, Samuel Idowu, described the strike as total and indefinite, lamenting that his members who were supposed to have been promoted from level 14 to 15 have not been promoted for years.

A spokesperson for the workers, Taiwo Tiamiyu, also said the management has refused to implement the promotion despite a directive.

“There is a circular from Federal Ministry of Health instructing CMDs and the MDs to promote members of staff from level 14 to 15, from assistant Director to Director,” he said.

In his reaction, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Segun Orisajo, said the management had met with the unions on Friday and Monday in an attempt to resolve the dispute. He said dialogue with the workers is ongoing.
“We are hopeful that normalcy will soon return to the centre, hopefully before weekend,” he said.

Some of the patients and their relatives appealed to both the unions and the management to sheath their swords, lamenting that patients are the most hit by the strike.

A relative who identified himself as Olaleye Abiodun said he brought his sister from Agege in Lagos State before the strike.

“Since when we came here they have been attending to her very well; but starting from yesterday (Monday) we have noticed that there have been some changes and the nurses do not respond very well because they are on strike”.

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