The simmering uncertainty that has prevailed in the nation’s health sector boiled over, yesterday, as essential healthcare services broke down completely in Federal health institutions following a nationwide strike embarked upon by members of the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU.
The strike which took off rather slowly in most Federal Hospitals in Lagos, gathered momentum by midday as more branches of the Union in the various Federal institutions nationwide, joined even as medical and health workers including nurses downed tools to protest non-passage of the mental health bill by the National Assembly .
Investigation by LEADERSHIP revealed that last minute consultations between management of some of the institutions and the union branches failed to stop the industrial action from commencing as scheduled.
Some workers attending to patients earlier in the morning, downed tools immediately they received directives to commence the strike.
Patients who were at the point of being attended to, were left in the dark as none of the health workers or other hospital staff were ready to explain the situation.
At the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, the President of the Union, Comrade Johnson Adetokumbo Shaba, who confirmed the strike, said that it had started in earnest. “We were left with no choice than this. We have been on this problem for a long time and the management of this very hospital has made matters worse.”