There is Insincerity And Dishonesty From The Beginning On The Part Of The Ministry – JOHESU President
The National Chairman of JOHESU, Mr Biobebelemoye Josiah, has accused medical doctors of sabotaging its efforts on the ongoing talks to end the four-week-old strike. Josiah made this known when answering questions from journalists in Abuja.
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Recall that NIGERIA NEWS had reported on April 17 that, JOHESU had embarked on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to implement previous agreements bordering on improved healthcare facilities and welfare.
The union’s strike has so far crippled healthcare delivery across public health institutions in the country but the doctors render service.
However, JOHESU claims that the Ministry of Health is collaborating with the doctors in order to suppress its welfare demands from the government, even though the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, had confirmed that negotiations were still on with JOHESU to end the strike.
“Negotiations are still on with JOHESU and the Minister of Labour is leading the negotiation, and we expect that we will conclude on all issues very soon.’’
But, recall that NIGERIA NEWS reported that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had in a statement threatened to withdraw their services across health institutions in the country if the federal government accedes to JOHESU’s demands.
The statement reads in part, “The NMA wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government to our correspondence of April 21, 2014, on the above, in which we reminded Government of the collective bargaining agreement we had with the Federal Government of Nigeria in January 2014.
The doctors drew the attention of government to the concluding part of their letter no. NMA/PRE/SG/03/0751 of 21st March 2014.
It states: “In view of the above, the NMA painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government of Nigeria that any award to the non-medically qualified health professionals that violates the January and July agreements of 2014 shall result in the resumption of the suspended withdrawal of service of 2014. Please take this as a notice.’’
“The above reminder is predicated on the extension of the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the amorphous body called `JOHESU’.
“The basis of the strike is callous and ill motivated for pay parity between her members and doctors with the resultant erosion of relativity and further hierarchical distortion in the health sector vis-à-vis her clandestine romance with some top government officials.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Medical Association wishes to restate her positions on the various demands of JOHESU:
“We oppose vehemently, any adjustment in CONHESS SALARY SCALE with resultant pay parity between doctors and healthcare professionals allied to medicine, and hereby reaffirm that relativity is sacrosanct,” the statement said.
However, the president of JOHESU, has alleged that the two ministers of health were unserious in ending the strike, particularly in respect of their position, which is in support of the doctors demands.
He said: “This very agreement was entered into and then a memo was made to Mr President as they claimed even though they gave us a copy later.”
“When they made this memo it was in December and the ministry of health defended her budget in February, but did not deem it to include that the amount it worked for the payment or settlement of this very issue.”
“This goes a long way to show that there was dishonesty, insincerity from the beginning on the part of the ministry (Federal Ministry of Health) because most probably the minister is a doctor; minister of state (Health) is a doctor and minister of labour who is supposed to be the chief negotiator, is also a medical doctor.’’