Lagos Nurses union

By Chris Onuoha

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Lagos State Council has reiterated its resolve to go on a 3 day warning strike starting on Monday January 10 through Wednesday, January 13.

At a general congress of all the Nurses in the State held on Friday, January 7 in Lagos, the Council stated that there is no going back on the planned strike, saying that Lagos State government has not come up with an agreeable truce over their demands. This, according to the union, will mount to severe consequences on the residents of Lagos whose healthcare demands would be impeded.

In a statement by the Chairman of the Council, Olurotimi Awojide, he disclosed that efforts made overtime to let Lagos State government to resolve the situation has proved inconclusive, hence, the need to press home their demand with a warning strike as the situation demands.

“The Council decided to embark on a three-day warning strike after careful consideration to call the attention of the Government to the severity of the situation and to get them to address the issues promptly. The association has engaged Government on several occasions on these issues without the desired pace of outcome. In our estimation, the Lagos government is yet to fully come to terms with how incredibly challenging the situation in the health sector has been for our members especially in the last two years,” said Awojide.

Awojide reiterated that Nurses are critical assets to the nation, saying that the increased foreign labour migration of Nurses is no longer news and has further overburden and overstressed the Nurses that are still in service.

“According to our records, more than 496 Nurses left the service of the Lagos State Health Service Commission between 2019 to 2021. Over 200 Nurses left the service of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital within the same period. Over 80 left the Primary Healthcare Board within the last two years which has only about 700 Nurses and Midwives. It is clear that Nurses do not find job satisfaction or fulfillment here. Nurses are quitting within weeks of taking appointments,” remarked Awojide.

He also noted that besides the acute shortage of Nurses and Midwives, retention of incentives for those in service which are currently being enjoyed by other health workers must be considered.

Others are proper consolidation of Salary Structure to tally with those in Federal Service with improved working conditions, regularization of graduate Nurses, hazard allowance and life insurance for Nurses, Nurses representation in relevant Boards among others.

“I want the public to know that we have their interest in our heart and it is not our wish to embark on strike, but the issue is that when Nurses who are the most essential healthcare workers are not happy, they cannot give quality service.

“Our expectation is for the Lagos State government to be agile in its response to the challenges of Nurses and to come up with comprehensive and well-thought-through policy responses to reduce the turnover rate among Nurses by rewarding their service appropriately,” said Awojide.

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