Health care workers, under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Care Professionals, have threatened to disrupt industrial peace in Federal teaching hospitals across the country from May 2 if Federal Government fails to address an alleged injustice done to them.
At a briefing at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, yesterday, the workers, comprising pharmacists, radiographers, dieticians, medical laboratory technologists and physiotherapists, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into the matter.
President of the Union, Felix Faniran, who led the members to protest the alleged marginalisation in the distribution of leadership positions in the teaching hospitals, said medical practitioners regarded others in the sector as inferior.
He said: “The post of Chief Medical Director should be re-designated as Chief Executive Officer and made open to all health professionals with proven competence and managerial expertise.
“All forms of discrimination capable of hindering capacity enhancement of any group of professionals should be discarded.”
Contributing, UCH branch of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, through its Chairman, Juwon Arotiba, said all professionals in the health sector must put the patient at the centre of all activities in the hospital.
Urging the President to use his office to avert total collapse in the health sector, they asked for investigation of issues of multiple salary structure in the sector, which they said was responsible for incessant crises in the hospitals.
Members of the union, who are currently on a seven-day warning strike, said government had till May 2 to address their demands, after which the state of activities in the teaching hospitals could no longer be guaranteed.
Workers in all the four tertiary institutions owned by Osun State government, yesterday, insisted that they would not return to work until their demands were met by government, as their industrial action entered the sixth week.
Briefing newsmen in Osogbo, spokesman of the workers, Olusegun Onifade, said while the workers sympathised with the parents, guardians and students of the institutions, the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola should be blamed for what he described as the governor’s alleged insensitivity to the plight of the workers.
The workers, under the umbrella of Council of Academic Staff Unions of Osun State-Owned Tertiary Institutions, CASUOSTI, are demanding for remittance of deductions of their contributory pension scheme and approval of 65 years retirement age for academic staff of the affected institutions, among others.
Onifade said, “Our members hold this issue of pension very seriously because if not well managed, it may mean that our investment into the service of the state will be in vain, hence it may create problem upon our investment.”
While appreciating the efforts of the state government in the social economic development of the state, the workers argued that this should not be done at the detriment of the workers in the state.
The affected institutions are Osun State Colleges of Education, Ila Orangun and Ilesa; Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, and Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke.