Warning strike by health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) yesterday grounded activities at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
Rising from a congress held on the premises of the hospital, the FMC Chairman of JOHESU, Bashir Ayobamiji-Obabiyi, directed his members to immediately withdraw their services with immediate effect from the hospital.
Ayobamiji-Obabiyi, who spoke with New Telegraph, decried the infrastructural decay in various government hospitals across the country as well as alleged injustice against the union’s members in the health sector. The chairman warned his members to stay clear of duties pending further directives from the national body.
He said: “Some of these demands were based on the infrastructural decay in our various tertiary hospitals in Nigeria which we are not in agreement with. We are here not because of anything but the interest of our patients. “And if those facilities are not there, how do we expect our patients to get better services in our various hospitals?
“Today you will discover that there are a lot of people travelling abroad for better healthcare service because they do not believe in what is in operation in Nigeria. “And we are telling the Federal Government that if things can be done right, there will be no need for people travelling abroad for any healthcare service.”
The same situation occurred at the FMC, Makurdi in Benue State. Our correspondent, who visited the hospital, observed that as early as 8am, most departments including the Medical Ward, General Out Patient Department (GOPD), the Gynaecology Section and Children’s Ward were deserted by supporting staff as only a few doctors were spotted offering skeletal services to patients.
New Telegraph also observed that patients, who surged into the health facility for treatment, had no option than to either return home or go to private hospitals to be treated.
The Head of Clinical Service in the hospital, Dr. Enye Agata, described the strike as unfortunate as it had rendered most activities epileptic. “It is unfortunate the JOHESU strike has commenced. Only the doctors are not on strike but the supporting staff are lacking. In health, we work as a team and when part of that team is not there things may not work optimally.
That’s the situation we are facing now.” In Enugu State JOHESU members an nounced total compliance to the nationwide warning strike action declared by their national body. Except for patients in critical conditions, who were being attended to by doctors, emergency wards were shut down yesterday.
The state Chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, told the New Telegraph that the state leadership of the union and other affiliate unions moved round the federal health facilities in the state to ensure total compliance.
Asogwa listed the institutions visited to as the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu; the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu and the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital (FNH), Enugu. He said: “We just finished mobilisation visit to all the federal health institutions in Enugu and I can confirm to you that all of them are in total compliance to the s