Published On: Sun, May 20th, 2018

National healthcare delivery threatened as sector’s crises worsen

. JOHESU strike is sheer blackmail – NMA


These are troubling times for the health sector beset by the panoply of problems, some of them of long-standing nature while others are offshoots of long years of neglect by the authorities. But the spectre of war drums that hovers over the sector now is more a product of competition for power and influence between the Joint Health Sector Union, comprising of nurses, midwives and laboratory technologists on the one hand, and the Nigeria Medical Association on the other hand.

The issues involved are deeply rooted, but at stake currently is JOHESU’s demand for an overhaul of the nation’s health sector, and pay parity with doctors, as well as advocacy for a change in the current system where only medical doctors are appointed chief medical directors of federal and states’ health institutions.

Comrade Biobebelemoye Josiah, the president of JOHESU stated that ” the widening disparity between the pay structure of doctors and other health professionals is a “slap in the face of other professionals in the health sector who are equally important in the health chain”.

Last year, the Federal Government released about N25 billion to the sector in the wake of agitation and threats of more actions. According to reports, doctors took a large chunk of the money and left a meagre sum of five billion naira for JOHESU. It protests against the sharing formula that has morphed into full-blown industrial action since March, after series of pleas to federal authorities to make amends failed woefully to yield positive results.

The strike embarked on has not only paralysed health care delivery across federal institutions but more galling is the fact that state and local governments have joined the strike. Competent health sources said the backlash of the lockdown has in part produced huge casualty figures across the federation. More than 600 people are said to have died in federal health institutions alone.

Just last week, an engineer with an ICT company was reportedly shot by armed robbers in the outskirts of Ogun State and was rushed to Reddington Hospital in Ikeja after there were no medical personnel to attend to him in Ikeja. At Reddington, he was not attended to as the hospital demanded for a police report. The engineer eventually died.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has severally appealed to the five unions that make up JOHESU to reconsider their stance. The minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the federal government has honoured the agreement reached with the unions on September 30, 2017, including payments of promotion arrears and other demands, but JOHESU insists on 100 percent compliance

JOHESU president, Bioboyemonye Josiah said part of demand is increase in retirement age from 60 to 65, upwards review of CONHESS salary structure among others, but Ngige said government has met more than 80 percent of the demand and as such the Union ought to understand and show patriotism, saying government will not hesitate to wield the big stick by invoking no work no pay rule.

The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has, however, warned that its union will embark on strike should the federal government accede to the demand of JOHESU. Dr. Henry Adebayo, deputy chairman of NMA in Kwara State, said ‘We will not hesitate to go on strike should the government do the bidding of JOHESU”.

Adebayo said the union is aware of the crises in the sector, ” but we must note that   JOHESU is not patriotic and realistic about their demands’, he said.

Adele Ajike, a business executive said ”the federal government should do more to end the crisis given that the health sector should be in the mood for domestication of pressing international challenges such as the resurgence of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Already about 23 people have been confirmed to have died of the disease, while 40  are already confirmed to have the disease.

In this year alone, more than 150 Nigerians have died from Lassa fever and meningitis, all these calls for concerted efforts of health professionals.

Already, patients are decimated at University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, as they are across teaching hospitals in the federation.

JOHESU last Friday further accused doctors and federal ministry of Health of complicity in the strike. Josiah, the chairman of JOHESU warned that the union will not call off the strike until their demands are met 100 percent.

A patient, Chidimma Ufuoma at University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Idi Arabs told this newspaper that she had been at the hospital for the past two weeks, saying her case has worsened but said she could not leave because of money and the fact that she distrusts private hospital. She said she has abdominal complications, which would have been operated upon were it not for the strike.

The same scenario played out at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja, where patients with different ailments are left stranded. Many patients have moved out to private hospitals. When this reporter visited the teaching hospital in Ikeja, many patients with their families were seen moving out.

Dr. James Ngoye, a gynecologist told this newspaper that ”the federal government should not yield to blackmail but should resist the intimidation of JOHESU.

”Let it be known that what we are witnessing is blackmail, and we call on the federal government to resist it. If they yield, we in the NMA will embark on strike’, he said.

© 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • New Banks fight for survival 

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A clutch of new financial institutions are beginning to slowly appear on Nigeria’s banking scene as the once fragile economy wriggles out of a recession that held sway between the middle of 2015 and the second quarter of 2017. The renewed institutional confidence in the economy (which has grown more recently at […]

  • Gov poll: Stalemate in Osun as APC, PDP live to fight another day

    The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared the Osun State governorship election inconclusive. The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke, had polled 254,698 votes against that of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 254,345 votes. However, due to irregularities which marred the election at some polling units in Ife North, […]

  • Ambode fights for his political life

    By OBINNA EZUGWU It is no longer news; the political love affair in Lagos state is in trouble. For the first time since 1999, a sitting governor is facing a real challenge from his own party for the ticket. The indignity can only be imagined and its implications continue to reverberate across the state and […]

  • Business Hallmark Cover Page for this week

    © 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article. Reactions from Facebook comments and opinions

  • Customers fret over Skye Bank’s demise

    By Okey Onyenweaku There was subdued anxiety within the finance circles throughout the weekend over the collapse of Skye Bank plc. The sudden demise of the stricken lender, caught many industry stakeholders napping. However, usually reliable sources confirmed to Business Hallmark that the move had long been anticipated and was carefully managed to protect depositors […]

  • Cover

    © 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article. Reactions from Facebook comments and opinions

  • The crash of Nigeria Air

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Nigeria, since the beginning of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, has become a large theatre of the absurd – not that it has ever been a sane country though – and last week, another episode of the drama was ‘screened’ by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Serika, who announced, […]

  • (Editorial) Adeosun: Betrayed by a dysfunctional system

    A fortnight ago, former Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, resigned her position following the report of an investigative panel into allegations of NYSC certificate forgery against her. The allegation had been earlier made by an online newspaper, Premium Times, and the nation was agog with speculations about it. Her resignation has been interpreted by most […]

  • New banks fight for survival 

    By Okey Onyenweaku A clutch of new financial institutions are beginning to slowly appear on Nigeria’s banking scene as the once fragile economy wriggles out of a recession that held sway between the middle of 2015 and the second quarter of 2017. The renewed institutional confidence in the economy (which has grown more recently at […]

  • Why NNPC adopted contractors funding contract

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained why it has resorted to contractor-financing of its pipeline and other facilities development in recent times in the Industry. Delivering the Keynote speech at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2018) Tuesday in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that […]

  • Justice Kafarati explains why AMCON failed to recover N5.4trn debt

    The Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati, has said there is a need for judges in Nigeria to support the recovery efforts of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) since the corporation was established as a central element of government’s response to financial crisis in the country.  Justice […]

  • Equity market extends positive sentiment by 0.18%  

    The Nigerian equity market had its second consecutive rally on Friday, gaining 0.18 per cent, buoyed by sustained buy pressure. Sustained positive trading pushed the All Share Index (ASI) up by 59.28 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.18 per cent, to close at 32,540.17 points. The market upturn was on the back of the […]

  •  Why Polaris Bank was set up to take over Skye Bank—NDIC

    FELIX OLOYEDE The need to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds propelled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to establish Polaris Bank to succeed just defunct Skye Bank. NDIC disclosed said this today in a released signed by its Mohammed Ibrahim Head, Communications and Public Affairs, and he promised […]

  • My Mandate Is To Deliver The Ecobank Brand Promise As Platform Of Choice In Nigeria – Akinwuntan

    The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan has reaffirmed that his mandate in Nigeria is to grow the Ecobank brand by delivering it as a brand of choice. The bank Managing Director stated that Ecobank service will be available and within the reach of every Nigerian either in their homes or locality through any […]

  • Experts blame shareholders as CBN revokes Skye Bank’s license

    FELIX OLOYEDE The failure of Skye Bank shareholders to recapitalize the bank, which has been battling with acute liquidity challenges is responsible for the revocation of its operating license of Skye Bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), experts have declared. Prof. Joseph Ajibola, former President, Chartered Institute of Banking of Nigeria (CIBN) opined […]

  • Bulls return to stock market, appreciates 0.33%

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The Nigerian equity market on Thursday trended upward, reversing the previous day’s negative sentiment. The bourse gained 0.33 per cent, propelled gains recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks with WAPCO setting the pace. The All Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 105.77 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.33 per cent to […]