Health Workers Blame Health Minister For Strike

From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has been blamed for the recurrent industrial actions in the nation’s health in recent times.

Prof Onyebuchi was also accused of being discriminatory against other health practitioners in the sector.

At a press conference in Osogbo on Monday, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), the group comprising all health practitioners except medical doctors and nurses, Mr Felix Faniran, said because of his professional background, the Minister always takes side with medical doctors whenever other professionals protest against being relegated by the doctors.

According to Faniran, industrial unrest was less pronounced during the time Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, who was not a medical doctor and that no profession in the health sector was treated as superior, adding that matters began to take turn for worse when a medical doctor was appointed Minister of Health.

He alleged that Professor Chukwu has been acting the script of his colleagues by supporting the monopoly of leadership of health institutions while other health care professionals are being treated as surbodinates to medical doctors.

He mentioned the incident of appointment of new Chief Medical Director for OATHC as a clear example of plot monopolise leadership positions of teaching hospitals in the country.

Faniran maintained that the possession of M.BS and MB.CH before one can qualify to apply for the post of CMD of the health institution as stipulated by the advertorial placed in Guardian Newspapers of 3rd July, 2013, said to be part of the plot to ensure a medical doctor emerge as the new CMD which was already being contested in a Federal High Court, Osogbo.

But according to him, the management of the institution still went ahead to appoint acting CMD who does not possess M.BS and later conducted interview using the controversial advertorial in defiance of court order that said status quo must be maintained pending the hearing of the matter.

Faniran disclosed that the association is writing an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan intimating him of the development and demanding the reversal of the the appointment.

Among others, the association is also demanding immediate stop to the monopoly of leadership of health institution by medical practitioners, granting of autonomy to the management of teaching hospitals and appointment of a member of association of health care professionals as one of the two ministers manning health ministry.

The group is also demanding implementation of  recommendations of all panel of enquiries set up to investigate the claims of other health care professionals.

He said the union will resume its shelved industrial action by 13th March if all its legitimate demands are not met on or before March 13 this year.

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