The Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institute and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), Teaching/Specialist Hospitals/Federal Medical Centres Sector has urged the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) as a lasting solution to the to industrial strike called by the later.
This is contained in a communiqué issued by the body at the end of its two-day meeting at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Lagos.
The Council noted that the Federal Government’s unwillingness to implement the agreement reached with JOHESU led to the strike.
The communiqué, signed by the Ag. Sector Chairman, Comrade E. O. Popoola and Sector Secretary, Comrade Ademola Olajire stated that the Federal Government is yet to approve or circularise the upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary Scale as contained in the memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed on September 30, last year.
According to the communiqué, though the five-week timeline has elapsed and it is more than six months now and still counting, it should be noted that little or nothing has been done between last year and now. “The apparent lack of desire on the part of government to redress all the issues is leading to a looming, but avoidable industrial action. The council, therefore, calls on the government as a matter of urgency to release the adjusted CONHESS salary table and implement same immediately,”the communiqué stated.
The body noted the poor state of hospital equipment and the unavailability of modern equipment and obsoleteness of existing ones, adding that many of them are mere gigantic structures lacking required cutting edge technologies for research, training and healthcare delivery.
“This is about the biggest issue with the healthcare system and it is responsible for why medical tourism remain the only option for affluent Nigerians or patients in dire need of the right diagnosis/cure. It is common place to trace the root causes of most of the wrong diagnoses to lack of the right equipment or the faulty nature of existing ones. We demand the purchase of modern medical equipment in our various health institutions and training of health professionals to handle the equipment, in order to stem the tide of medical tourism and make health care services available and affordable to all Nigerians,” the communiqué stated.
The body equally decried the shortage of personnel in various health institutions, adding that with lack of enabling working conditions, poor remunerations, and lack of motivation, among other reasons, led to inadequate manpower in the health sector.
It further explained that “the effects of health worker shortage have given rise to excessive lengthy queues, abnormal waiting times, and patient dissatisfaction at the various hospitals. This is a pointer that all is not well with our health care system. We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to employ adequate hands into our health facilities to prevent imminent collapse.”
The Nation News