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End In Sight For Health Workers’ Strike As Senate Wades In



The ongoing strike by health professionals under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) appears headed for resolution following the intervention of the Senate.

Yesterday, Senate President Bukola Saraki met with the minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; his labour and employment counterpart, Dr Chris Ngige, and leaders of the health workers’ union in a bid to end the ongoing strike.

LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that the JOHESU strike has lingered for over a month and has crippled healthcare delivery in many parts of the nation, leading to avoidable deaths.

JOHESU, an association of health workers apart from medical doctors and dentists, had on April 18 this year begun an indefinite strike over the failure of the federal government to honour the agreement it entered with the union last September.

Top on the union’s demand list is salary adjustment, a demand Nigerian doctors have vehemently opposed, warning the government that acceding to such demand would precipitate a crisis that may lead to the collapse of the health sector.

According to a statement on Friday by his chief press secretary, Sanni Onogu, during a meeting with the union, the Senate president listened to the grievances and demands of the JOHESU leadership, led by its chairman, Biobelemonye Joseph, and pledged that the Senate would ensure that the right thing is done to end the strike.

Saraki said that it was not in the interest of the country to have its hospitals closed and assured that the Senate would work with all the necessary bodies to ensure the strike is called off.

“I have heard your remarks. I will spend some time to discuss with you and get more details to see how we can put an end to this strike. On our own part, we will bring all parties involved together to ensure that where commitments have been made, those who made the commitments (should) honour them.

“The only thing I can assure you is that we will make sure that the right thing is done and that this matter is resolved,” he said.