Healthcare workers at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, on Monday, joined the nationwide strike called by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many essential places in the hospital, including the pharmacy, the medical records section and two of the main gates into the hospital were locked.
The JOHESU Chairman, UCH Chapter, Mr Adeolu Alli, said the strike became imperative after “a long period” — three years of waiting on the Federal Government.
He said that the government has seemingly taken the patience of the striking workers for granted.
“We are on strike at the moment and our members have gone home.
“The level of compliance is almost 98 per cent. The government must meet our demands.
“On September 30, 2017, there was an agreement with the Federal Government on some of these issues most especially the adjustment of our salary structure.
“Three months later, that was April and May 2018, we had to go on strike again because the government failed to fulfil its part of the agreement,” he said.
According to him, JOHESU makes up over 94 per cent of workers in the government-owned hospitals.
“JOHESU is made up of over 94 per cent of workers in the hospitals, except doctors.
“Obviously there is nothing that can be done without this workforce but unfortunately, the Federal Ministry of Health has been biased all along.
“We have tried our best. We have been patient enough but it is unfortunate that they are taking our patience for granted,” he said.
Mr Toye Akinrinlola, the UCH’s Public Relations Officer, said that the hospital’s management had made arrangement with available manpower to render skeletal services and attend to critical cases.
He said that the accident and the emergency units, the ICU, staff clinic, antenatal emergency and labour ward, would remain open.
NAN reports that JOHESU is the umbrella body of five affiliate unions including the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Medical and Health Workers’ Union (MHWUN).
Others are Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN).