Vanguard (Lagos)

24 January 2014

Nigeria: Strike - Stop Discrimination Among Health Workers - Nwaekpe

Enugu — The Chairman of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria in Enugu State, Mr Chinenye Nwaekpe, has warned against discrimination in the welfare of health workers.

Nwaekpe told the journalists in Enugu on Friday that the government should give equal treatment to all medical workers across board.

According to him, such action will end the perennial strike in the health sector.

"The government should consider improving the welfare of all health workers at the same time to avoid incessant strikes in the country.

"If you increase the salaries of doctors, also increase those of nurses and other health workers because we all contribute to save lives," he said.

The chairman said the health sector had different professionals, adding that they should be allowed to be regulated and supervised by their various professional bodies as stipulated in their professional guidelines.

"It is wrong for a medical doctor to head professional bodies like laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, nurses, pharmacists and engineers. It does not make sense," he said.

He said there had been disharmony in the sector as a result of lopsided treatment among the health professionals.

Nwaekpe pleaded with the federal government to implement the National Industrial Court's ruling, saying that justice should not only be done but seen.

The health workers under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Professionals and Associations embarked on a three-day warning strike to agitate for their rights.

The union is protesting against the non-implementation of collective bargain agreement and memorandum of understanding as well as the neglect of the judgment of National Industrial Court of Nigeria by the federal government.

JOHESU is the umbrella body of all health care professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, physiotherapists and non-health workers such as attendants, cleaners and drivers.

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