Health Minister commends unions for industrial harmony in the Health Sector

The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in audience with Executive members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals Association (AHPA), during the group's courtesy visit to the Ministry's headquarters today, in Abuja.

Abuja (Min. of Health) – The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has expressed delight over the relatively industrial harmony, so far experienced, in the health sector.

Dr. Ehanire made this expression while in audience with Executive members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals Association (AHPA), today in Abuja.

Speaking, the Minister emphasised that the Health Sector is a peculiar sector having to deal with lives and consequences of disruption of service is never desirable. In his words Ehanire said “All workers in the sector are partners and custodians of healthcare; as such, we must endeavour to join hands together and be each other’s keeper to ensure that healthcare service in not disrupted.”

Describing healthcare service as a “National calling” Ehanire charged the Union to come up with suggestions towards rebuilding public confidence in the health system.

“We are living in a globally competitive environment. Medical tourism is a demonstration of lack of confidence in the system and this is a collective indictment; therefore, we must repay our country to reverse the trend.”

He further appealed for continuous support and understanding while assuring that as the head of the sector, he would ensure that everyone gets what is fair and just but reminded that the administration of the sector does not rest entirely on the Federal Ministry of Health, rather “It is a collective responsibility, involving: Salaries and Wages Commission, Ministries of Labour, Finance, etc.

Earlier, the National Chairman, JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, intimated the Minister with some concerns of their members which include: Review of hazard allowance; the FMOH to liaise with CMDs/CEOs and IPPIS to effect payment of promotion/skipping arrears; the FMOH to present memo to the National Council on Establishment (NCE) on the review of the retirement age of Health workers.

Other demands, according to  the Chairman, also include the release of withheld salaries of members in April and May, 2018, due to “No Work No Pay” policy of the Federal government.

Adjustment of CONHESS Scale as was done to CONMESS Scale; the Federal Ministry of Health to set up a Sub-Committee on critical Labour Matters and Central Standing Committee to address the various pending issues assigned to her through the judgement of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), amongst other.

Comrade Josiah however appreciated the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz M. Abdullahi, for his prompt issuance of the circular directing offsetting of skipping arrears and payment of specialist allowance. He pledged the Union’s readiness to partner with the Minister to ensure a successful tenure “free of friction and rancour.”

Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Head, Media and Public Relations