By Doyin Ojosipe
The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Dr Debo Eleshin, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to ban unionism in the health sector.
Eleshin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the had become necessary to stem incessant strikes by doctors, nurses and other categories of health workers.
He decried the three-month-old strike embarked upon by workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Staff Union (JOESU), saying that the ordinary Nigerians had been on the receiving end.
“People are suffering. Treatment at private hospital is not an alternative as it can be too expensive for the ordinary people.
“I appeal that the strike be suspended while negotiation continues,’’ he said.
Eleshin described the health sector as the most critical in the affairs of any nation, explaining that nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other categories of health workers currently on strike and their relations had been visiting the centre for treatment.
He appealed to the striking health workers to immediately call off their strike for the sake of humanity while negotiation with government officials continues.
The chief medical director also called on the government to release the white paper on the Yayale Ahmed Committee report.
He said the report would put a stop to unhealthy rivalry among workers in the sector and also put paid to arbitrary strike by the workers.
Eleshin admitted that the long strike had put some of the centre’s sensitive facilities and equipment at serious risk but said that casual staff had been engaged to regularly maintain the theatre, laboratories and important facilities.