By Gabriel Olawale
The Acting Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos, Professor Chris Bode, said that only the enactment of a policy that will outlaw strikes by unions or groups of workers in public health sectors can put a stop to incessant strike in the country.
Bode, who gave the recommendation during a situation update of the current health worker;s strike embarked upon by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, said except such policy is put in place and rigorously implemented, the spate of persistence health sector strikes would continue unabated.
In his view, the season of strikes witnessed in the sector has persisted because those meant to cater for the sick are not identifying with the sensitive nature of their profession which has to do with life and death.
“Appropriate legislation is the only thing that can mitigate against all this unnecessary strike action by one union today another one tomorrow. If we as a Nigerians say from now on healthcare which is an essential service should only be a sector where those employed by government cannot go on strike, if we make such legislation only those that have interest in that will remain, but it is for us as Nigerians to make such legislation, to form ourselves into pressure group, until we get such legislation and it become binding on everybody.
“How will you feel if your house catches a fire and you call the fire brigade or Police and they tell you they are on strike? It is the same thing with healthcare even if not bigger because we are dealing with saving humans,” Bode stated.
Appealing to JOHESU to call off the strike, the CMD noted that some of their demands have been taken care by government and would be implemented soon.
“The striking workers should please consider things that have suffered set back as a result of the strike. The good thing about what is happening is that government has responded to most of those things they requested for; the Yayale Ahmed Committee Report was meant to solve the problem in the sector.
“Every Teaching Hospital and Federal Institution was instructed to submit names of those due for promotion and allowances yet to be paid have been captured in 2015 budget. We are just appealing to them to resume work and wait because things cannot be done in hurry.”