By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole has has threatened to treat the strike embarked upon by Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), members as misconduct should they fail to resume work.
In addition, the Governing Boards of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions convened emergency meetings of Boards and ordered back to work the striking health workers.
A statement issued yesterday by the Director, Media and Public Relations, in the ministry, Boade Akinola, said the minister gave the indication during an emergency meeting with the CMDs/MDs of tertiary hospitals, on Monday to review the status of services being rendered in view of the ongoing strike.
The Minister added that anyone who fails to resume would be considered to have absconded from duty without leave which is a serious misconduct in line with the Public Service rule 030413.
He noted that Monitoring teams were dispatched to the Tertiary Hospitals to access the activities in various hospitals and reports were presented at the meeting and this revealed that some hospitals were doing well in providing care to the people while others have performed below expectation.
The Minister commended the facilities that are offering full services using locum Staff and volunteers and directed immediate restoration of full services in all the other facilities. He singled out facilities in North East, North West and South- South zones for outstanding performance.
He said that there was no reason why each hospital should not have one ward per speciality open for operation. He said one gynaecology ward, one obstetrics ward, one paediatric ward, one surgical ward and one medical ward, should be kept functioning immediately in facilities that are yet to do so.
He said “the clinics must run, theatre must be opened, there is no reason why they should lock your theatre. No one has the right to lock up government hospitals”.
Adewole maintained that everyone who participated in the strike would not be paid for the period of the strike even if the strike is called off.
“We want you to go back and restore services in your various institutions immediately”.
The Minister urged Chairmen of the Boards to take charge of their facilities and that any Chief executive not willing to keep the services running, should be suspended and be replaced with another officer in acting capacity.