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Health workers threaten strike over planned privatisation of hospitals in Imo

By CHIDI NKWOPARA

OWERRI— Members of Joint Health Sector Unions and Associations, JHSUA, have given Imo State government seven days to reverse the proposed commercialisation, privatisation and concessioning of state hospitals and resolve all outstanding labour issues or risk industrial crisis in the health sector.

The workers issued the threat in a two-page letter addressed to the state governor, dated July 30, and signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Dr. Darlington Akukwu and Ikechi Nwaneri respectively.

The letter complained about the state government’s “commercialisation, privatisation and concessioning of government owned hospitals in Imo State: seven-day ultimatum to rescind decision.”

They reminded Governor Rochas Okorocha that commercialisation, privatisation and concessioning of government owned hospitals was one of the key issues that led to the declaration of trade dispute by JHSUA against Imo State Government.

Okorocha was similarly reminded that the recent industrial action by unions and associations in the health sector was only suspended through the intervention of Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

“We are surprised that the state government has gone ahead to implement the contending issues, more so, as the action contravenes Section 10(1&2) Cap LI Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” labour said.

Recalling with grief that their letter dated July 16, 2012, on the recall of dismissed doctors and other contentious issues at Imo State Specialist Hospital, Owerri, were yet to be addressed, JHSUA fumed that it “is deeply concerned and feel betrayed by the latest development in a letter, MH/COM/17/6, dated July 18, 2012,  emanating from the office of the Commissioner for Health”.


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