Health workers in the country have appealed to the Federal Government to make conscious efforts in prioritising their demands and welfare, which was important to the general wellbeing of majority of Nigerians.
The appeal was made during a meeting between House of Representative Committee on Health Services and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), at the weekend in Abuja.
MHWUN National President, Josiah Biobelemoye, who warned that the delayed payment of deferred and adjusted salaries was a ticking time bomb, urged the government to note that majority of Nigerians received healthcare services from public hospitals which were more affordable due to financial constraints in patronising private healthcare facilities.
Biobelemoye, who commended the efforts and concerns of the National Assembly in the welfare of healthcare workers, including the steps being taken to back the consolidated revenue provision of one per cent by law, however, called for increased funding of the health sector and budgetary provision to fund such salary adjustments.
He said: “We are doing so much and our people are showing so much understanding within this period because it’s COVID-19 time, but you can’t expect people to be patient all through forever.
“Government said there is no money, but they are planning to pay private school teachers who are not even under the employment of the government.
We that are in the forefront, contending with the pandemic, how will you then explain to us that government does not have the money to pay our deferred salaries of April and May, 2018, and the withheld salaries in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, JUTH, LUTH and others. How will you convince us?
“We are not against the government trying to help out private schools, but if you are helping the private schools why can’t you help us. Is it justifiable to keep the salaries of those who are in the war front?
“We are appealing to the executive; quickly address these matters because they are ticking time bombs and they should not allow them to be detonated before they come to the rescue, because any detonated bomb does not have positive results, its always negative, he said.”