Thursday, August 29, 2013

Medical Doctors May Reject New Agreements By Which Health Sector Workers Agreed To End Strike

As health workers under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) call
off their strike following a meeting with the Minister of Labour, Mr.
Emeka Wogu, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Onyebuchi Chukwu in
attendance, the crisis in the health sector may continue if doctors
determine that the agreements compromise their interests, a sources in
the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) told SaharaReporters on
The meeting between the health workers and the two Ministers started
on Monday. Following the agreements on Tuesday, JOHESU
expressedoptimism that they will be implemented within two weeks. The
health workers said they wanted to end their industrial action to
allow for implementation of the new understanding with the Federal
But the new agreement may not resolve the issues in the sector, until
thedoctors have reviewed them at the weekend. Our sources said the
NMA will react appropriately if the agreements appear to be
"We don't know what they discussed and we are not aware if those
matters that should concern us were taken into cognizance during their
meeting", one source said.
The medical professional described the decision of the court which was
taken on an appeal by the Ministry of Health as critically important
as a matter of rule of law, but that the change in direction where
another dialogue was adopted may override the due process being
followed in court.
Another NMA source said, "We thought the matter was on appeal and we
hope that the progress of the appeal would not be disrupted by the
so-called discussion". The doctors said health workers had done the
rightful by approaching court and that parts of their demands were
"It is like, out of about seven demands, about one and half was
granted and even that one is even questionable that must be appealed.
So the Government must be responsible to appeal in the interest of the
public and posterity. After all, National Industrial Court is not the
final until the Supreme Court says it is so", the doctor said. He
expressed fear that the meeting of health workers with the ministers
to call of their strike may have been developed as a ruse to hurt
endeavors at redressing the underlying issues in court.
The issues deliberated upon at the meeting heralding the health
workersending their strike action included membership of board of
management of Teaching Hospitals; implementation of 2008 Job
Evaluation Report;and retirement and promotion from CONHESS 14 to
The meeting also considered the constitution of a presidential
committeeto oversee implementation of the agreementsM

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