Stay Away From Govt Hospitals, JOHESU Warns Nigerians

The thirteen professional associations under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have warned Nigerians seeking professional medical services to stay away from the Federal Government hospitals and health facilities for the period of ongoing nationwide strike in the health sector.

The associations also declared on Monday that there cannot be peace in the health sector if the provisions of the obnoxious Decree 10 of 1985, which took away the administration of hospitals from core trained professional administrators and place it in the hands of doctors; against what was obtainable in other developed countries.

Specifically, JOHESU stated that there would be a continuos crisis in the sector, when the one who heralded the obnoxious decree in 1985, Professor Isaac Adewole is now the Minister of Health, Pro. Adewole was the National President of the Resident doctors who went on strike to force the Military government to promulgate that decree in 1985.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on the ongoing strike by JOHESU, the professional associations expressed worries about the steps being taken by the government through a circular issued by the Minister of Health and warned of the health danger involved in such steps.

The National President of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Dr. Okara, who spoke on behalf of the 13 associations said the actions and activities of the minister is jeopardizing the life of health care seeking members of the public.

He expressed serious concern that rather than adopt industrial conflict resolution approach, the Federal Ministry of Health acting via Dr. O. J. Amedu, the Head, Department of Hospital Services is now set to exacerbate the situation and the overall impact of the ongoing strike on the populace.

Dr. Okara said: “On April 18th 2018, same day that the strike action commenced, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) issued an obnoxious circular ref no. DHS/166/T2/192 to all CMDs, MDs, Heads of Parastatals, Agencies and Institutions under the ministry aimed at not only sabotaging the strike action, but also jeopardizing the life of health care seeking members of the public.

“He copiously cited labour laws, both ILO and the Trade Disputes Act Cap 18, LFN 2014, however he failed to abide by the spirit of those laws as his directives 1(i-v) in the said circular contravene those laws.

“We are further worried and therefore we want to warn members of the public to be wary of seeking healthcare services in all the tertiary health institutions in the country while the strike lasts.

“This is because, in compliance with the obnoxious circular, chief executives of these health institutions have now gone ahead to recruit charlatans and quacks who are mainly their cronies and relatives to hold out as healthcare professionals attending to patients in these hospitals.”

Citing examples, he said, “As we speak to you now we have discovered such cases in some Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) including in the FCT and Owerri where these quacks are now holding sway and maiming patients in the process.

“In one instance, an HIV negative patient has been issued with a positive result. And we have also been reliably informed that one Medical Director, in violation of extant rules on Public Private Partnership (PPP), brought into the hospital premises his relations to help him divert patients to his private hospital and equally stationed some other quacks to help him take patients’ specimens to questionable places for analyses.

“Some patients are now being issued with very doubtful Liver and Renal Function test results. No thanks to the promotion of quackery by the FMoH in these institutions to the detriment of the members of the public.”

He called on the DSS to beam its investigative searchlights on all the tertiary hospitals where JOHESU members are currently on strike with a view to unraveling more of these corrupt practices, criminal acts and atrocities.

“In the same vein, it has become very imperative for us as professional associations to warn our members, especially the interns and corpers in these hospitals to ensure that they do not work without the requisite supervision by the appropriate professionals as the consequence of doing so may be incalculable.” He said.

He Called on their members across the country to resist the temptation and lure by “our detractors” to take up any form of employment, locum or otherwise.

He added: “Those found culpable shall be severely dealt with in accordance with the statutory provisions of our various professional bodies. Notwithstanding the draconian directives by the FMoH, we are quick to say that our members will not be cowed by the FMoH’s threat to introduce attendance register and enforce ‘no-work-no-pay’ rule as neither the FMoH nor Dr Amedu is the right authority to invoke that section of the law.”




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