9 May 2012

Nigeria: Health Workers Ignore Union's Call for Strike

Minna — Medical and health workers in many states of the federation did not join the national strike as directed by the Joint Health Sector Unions comprising pharmacists, nurses, midwives, medical technologists and senior staff of university teaching hospitals.

In Bauchi State, doctors, nurses and other medical and health workers reported to work in various hospitals across the state yesterday.

Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association Dr Abdullahi Ibrahim told Daily Trust that "we don't have the intention to go on strike; I am not aware of the strike. In fact, all doctors in Azare and other parts of Bauchi State are doing their normal work, because we are not aware of any strike called by the national body".

In Borno State, the doctors' strike was not observed by health workers in federal health centers in the state as workers were seen carrying out their duties.

When our reporter visited University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) and the Federal Nero-Psychiatric Hospital yesterday morning, activities were at its peak as workers carrying out their duties in the various departments in the two hospitals.

Some of the workers spoken to said they were not aware about any strike declared by their union and as such they reported for work.

Health workers under the umbrella of JOHESS in Nasarawa State did not join the nation-wide strike called by the body's national office in protest to demand parity in wages with doctors and dentists.

By around 4pm when Daily Trust visited the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), in Keffi, health workers there were on duty. They said they were still waiting for directives from the national office, for them to embark on the industrial action called by the national body.

"We don't commence strike until we are directed to do so by our national office. For now, we are still working because the directive is yet to come, even though the same national office called for the strike", said a pharmacist on duty post at the Emergency Unit of the hospital.

Health workers in Kaduna State did not participate in the indefinite strike declared by health workers' union to to demand parity in wages with doctors and dentists.

Our correspondent who visited some of the public hospitals in Kaduna gathered that patients were seen receiving treatment while doctors and nurses were also present at the hospitals.

One of the patients on admission at Barau Dikko Specialist hospital confirmed that both doctors and nurses attended to them yesterday.

Speaking with the medical director of the hospital, Dr. Hussain Yahaya, he noted that he is not aware of any strike and that all his workers are present at work and are also discharging their duties as expected of them.

Ahmed Mohammed, Bauchi; Yahaya Ibrahim, Maiduguri; Hir Joseph, Lafia; Christiana T. Alabi, Kaduna & Aliyu M. Hamagam

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