Normal healthcare services have been paralised at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Keffi in Nasarawa State following the indefinite strike embarked on by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU).
A NAN correspondent monitoring the situation reports that officials of the union were seen directing members who resumed work to go back home in their interest.
Mr. Achimugu Isaiah, the JOHESU Chairman, confirmed this on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Keffi.
Other health workers complied with the strike order except medical doctors who are not members of JOHESU.
Isaiah said that they decided to join their colleagues on the nationwide industrial action following a directive from the national body of the union in the interest of the health sector.
According to him, the primary aim of every health worker is to see that the welfare of patients is improved, saying they have no option than to embark on the strike to press home their demands for improved facilities and condition of service.
“This briefing was necessitated in order to sensitise the patients and the public to know the reasons why we have joined the nationwide JOHESU indefinite strike declared by our national body.
“The 7-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government by our national body has elapsed yesterday, hence the need for the indefinite strike. So, we are telling the public to bear with us because they might not know the reasons why the strike was declared.
“The reasons why we have embarked on the strike is nothing but because the government has failed to address our demands which included review of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years, demand for autonomy of the teaching and specialist hospitals.
“Inadequate funding is also a reason why we embarked on the strike. We want the Federal Government to abolish the scale to scale promotion, and salary review, among other demands,’’ he said.
Isaiah said that adequate funding of public health facilities would go a long way in improving on the standing of living and health status of Nigerians as well as discouraging medical tourism.
“If our hospitals are adequately funded, if our hospitals are well equipped, it will discourage medical tourism and serve the generality of the people,” he added.
The JOHESU chairman also called on the government to meet up with the demands of the health workers in order to resolve the dispute.
Reacting, Dr. Joshua Giyan, the Medical Director of the centre, appealed to the aggrieved workers to return to work to prevent loss of lives.