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  • We never had a tangible agreement with the government other than ‘minutes of meeting’— Minister for health says
  • The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole,
    has alleged that the the Joint Health
    Sector Union (JOHESU) was trying to
    arm twist the Federal Government into
    implementing a non-existing agreement.
    Adewole made the claim at the end of the
    Federal Executive Council meeting
    presided over by President Muhammadu
    Buhari on Wednesday, adding that the
    union, which began an indefinite strike
    across the country last week Wednesday,
    never had a tangible agreement with the
    government other than ‘minutes of
    meeting’ which predates the current
    administration.
    Adewole, responding to a question on
    what the Federal Government was doing
    to halt the strike, said a high level
    technical committee had been constituted
    to look into the financial demands raised
    by the union
    The committee had sat on Sunday at the
    Office of the Secretary to the Government
    of the Federation and reconvened the
    meeting on Monday, but no progress was
    made on resolving the issues.
    The meeting was scheduled to continue
    Wednesday night.
    JOHESU says the resumption of the
    industrial action was predicated on
    alleged delay tactics and deliberate foot-
    dragging on the part of the Federal
    Government in approving the adjustment
    of Consolidated Health Salary Scale
    (CONHESS), similar to what was done for
    medical doctors’ Consolidated Medical
    Salary Scale (CONMESS) since January
    2014, and also replicated with yet another
    approval for the same CONMESS in
    September, 2017 for the medical doctors.
    The health workers grievances comes
    against the backdrop of poor access to
    healthcare in the country, and calls for
    public health reforms to counter the
    menace of clinical disease like Lassa
    fever, Ebola and monkey-pox.
    The strike, which has paralyzed services
    in government hospitals across the
    country, is being spearheaded by Medical
    and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria
    (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria
    Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior
    Staff Association of Universities, Teaching
    Hospitals, Research Institutes and
    Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAM),
    Nigeria Union of Allied Health
    Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic
    Staff Union of Educational and Associated
    Institutes (NASU).
    Meanwhile, the minister has said about
    two million Nigerians are affected with
    sickle cell anaemia.
    He further mentioned that there are plans
    to establish a fully functional department
    for traditional medicine at the Federal
    Ministry of Health. Adewole said,
    following persistent cases of malaria in
    the country, the Ministry was now open to
    exploiting traditional medicine in tackling
    the problem.

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