Health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals, JOHESU/AHPA have accused the Federal Ministry of Health of encouraging the oppressive tendencies of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) through its biased policies against them. The health workers have therefore resolved that henceforth, medical doctors would not be included in the team negotiating their welfare with government.
The unions also lamented what they described as the unending cycle of frustration orchestrated by the Directorate of Hospital Services, which is dominated by Physicians and logically the mouthpiece of the NMA.
They, have therefore, taken a major step to stop the NMA from negotiating the welfare matters of their members with the Ministry of Health by writing a letter to the Federal Ministry of Health, dated 16th December 2021 and signed by the acting national secretary, Comrade Mathew Ajorutu, on behalf of the chairman, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah.
The workers declared that henceforth, they would not participate in any negotiation brokered by the ministry, if physicians are involved.
JOHESU Accuses NMA Of Frustrating Health Workers’ Welfare
‘’The climax of these numerous aberrations usually manifests at times of trade disputes when the minister of health would lead teams made up of a high number of physicians to the negotiating table on matters relating/pertaining exclusively to members of JOHESU/AHPA.
‘’We put on record that JOHESU/AHPA has continually protested this development informally and amplified the position by submitting that JOHESU/AHPA members are not in any way involved in the welfare negotiations of physicians under the template of NMA, NARD.
“For several years, the FMoH has championed the basis for the devaluation of our basic humanity and citizenship rights by unleashing a series of assaults on our collective intelligence through its tainted and biased policies designed to deny self-actualisation for members of JOHESU/AHPA.
“We shall no longer allow this with due respect. JOHESU/AHPA resolved albeit strongly that in view of the unending cycle of frustration orchestrated by the Directorate of Hospital Services which is dominated by Physicians and logically the mouthpiece of the NMA, that we would no longer attend negotiation brokered by the FMOH if physicians are involved in the negotiations of the welfare initiatives of members of JOHESU/AHPA,” they stated.
They declared that they will participate in future negotiations only if the appropriate teams are raised from the Director of Human Resources (DHR) of the FMoH with necessary additions from the Legal Services Department, adding that all health professionals on such teams must be non-physicians because JOHESU members are never part of negotiating teams at FG- NMA/NARD parlays.
‘’In the event that the federal government and its proxies will need professional inputs in the course of negotiation with JOHESU/AHPA, we demand that moving forward, only a team comprising of the requisite and appropriate health professionals who must be non-physicians will be accepted to us in future negotiations.”
The workers also urged the federal government to pay withheld April and May 2018 salaries to its members before December 31, 2021, in the spirit of the Yuletide. They also appealed to the government to allow the implementation of the payment of hazard allowance as an integral part of the December 2021 wages of health workers.