The National Vice Chairman, Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) Dr. Ogbonna Obinna has asked the Federal Government to take the health workers seriously by meeting their demands to avoid another strike.
“We are really serious about this matter because this time around, the demand for the strike is coming from the members,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
“They feel frustrated over the years that the government has not met their demands”.
He said that the Federal Government should be held responsible for relenting on its agreements with the health workers.
According to him, one of the problems facing the health sector is under funding, describing the budgetary allocation to the sector as low.
“One of the problems we have in the health sector is under funding,” he added.
He said there is infrastructural decay in the sector because the Federal Government has not paid attention to the funding of the system.
“The Nigerian government should be sensitive to the funding of the health sector so that an average Nigeria will have access to health; it is a responsibility that the government owes Nigerians,” Dr Ogbonna said.
Some of the demands by the health workers include payment review, hazard allowance, an increase of retirement age from 60-65 years, and a review of how the government is implementing COVID-19 special inducement.
At a meeting with the government on Tuesday, JOHESU President, Biobelemonye Josiah, lamented that despite the patience of the health workers, none of their demands has been met by the government.
“We listed them (the issues) and on several occasions, we presented these items over and over,” he said in Abuja.
“Our last strike was on September 13, 2020. Six days from now, it will be one year and that shows that we are patient and we thought that within this period, at least the five issues, even, if not all the 16 (issues raised), would have been dealt with.
“But as we speak, not even one has been dealt with.”