Health workers across Nigeria are expected to begin an indefinite strike today, over the unresolved leadership crisis in the health sector, non-commencement of residency training programme for health professionals, non-implementation of new call duty allowance and non-payment of arrears.
National President of Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Felix Faniran, who spoke in Ibadan yesterday, said the body was formed to protect the interests of physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, optometrists, dieticians, medical social workers, clinical psychologists, dental therapists and so on.
He alleged that the Presidency and Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, were behind the crisis.
Faniran said, “In May 2010, the unions in the health sector, under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Unions, presented a memorandum to the government containing some demands. A presidential panel, headed by Justice Abdullahi Gusau, was set up in August to look into the demands.
“This panel was inhibited from carrying out its duties by both the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Minister of Health, by way of protests and criticisms on the part of NMA, while the minister obstructed the committee by starving it of funds and issuance of circulars to pre-empt the outcome of the panel.
“The panel managed to submit its report in November, 2011, but till date, none of the 27 recommendations of the panel has been implemented.
The president added that the five-point agreement signed in May, 2012, had yet to be implemented by the government.
The effect of the strike should be blamed on government that ignored all avenues to avert it.”