Following the suspension of the 43-day-old strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) , patients and union leaders in some government-owned health facilities in Lagos have hailed ongoing mediation.
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They, however, told correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored activities in the facilities, that a consensus on JOHESU demands was necessary.
At the Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre (AOMCC), nurses were at their duty posts, wearing uniforms.
Other staff members of the hospital were also carrying out their usual duties, while patients visited the hospitals for treatment.
Mrs Kamoju Modinat, whose child had been on admission, told NAN that the child received care during the strike.
“However, it was inadequate service delivery without the complete workforce of doctors, nurses and other health workers; they complement one another.
“It is a good development that they have been told to come back to work,” she said.
Mrs Chinyere Obi, a relative of a pregnant woman, said that she was happy at the strike suspension.
Mr Kehinde Adegoke, a Health Sector Trustee of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospital, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), confirmed the directive for full resumption of work.
Adegoke told NAN that JOHESU did not call off the strike but suspended it due to the intervention of National Industrial Court.
“Most of us are still in Abuja for court proceedings between the government and JOHESU.
“We are all resuming on Monday because we need to brief all members of JOHESU,” he said.
Mrs Oluyemisi Adelaja, Chairperson, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), LUTH branch, told NAN: “Work is to start properly on Monday because majority of JOHESU leaders are at the National Industrial Court in Abuja.
“Each unit will have congress on Monday where it will brief members.
“We suspended the strike until we get judgment from the industrial court,” she said.
Also, Mr Adegoke Akinfeleye of the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), LUTH chapter, said: “Majority of us are resuming on Monday because we need to address all health workers on the situation.’’
Mr Olakunle Fagbemi, Secretary, Medical and Health Workers Union, National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi , Lagos, expressed delight at the suspension of the strike.
“All the demands are yet to be met but court proceedings are ongoing,” Fagbemi said.
Tade Oyedele, Chairperson of SSAUTHRIAI, National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, said: “The JOHESU strike has been suspended while negotiations with government continues.
“We are happy but we still expect that government gives speedy attention to the Adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) as done for doctors.
“Also, circular on 65 years retirement age should be issued and shortfall on promotion and skipping arrears paid; April 2018 and May 2018 salaries should be paid to JOHESU members,” Oyedele said.
Also, Mr Shehu Suleiman, Chairman, National Union of Allied and Health Professionals, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Meta, Lagos, chapter, said that health workers at the centre would fully start work on Monday.
“We have a procedure which we follow by informing all our members on the situations and how we can work effectively,” Suleiman said.
NAN reports that the JOHESU suspended the strike on Thursday, directing its members to resume work on Friday.
The body also lambasted the Federal Government for failing to meet its demands.
The directive is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of JOHESU and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations in Abuja. (NAN)