Medical director seeks law against strike by sector’s workers
CHIEF Medical Director (CMD) of the Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Ido Ekiti, Dr. Majekodunmi Ayodele has called on the Federal Government to sponsor a bill to make industrial actions by medical workers illegal.
Expressing regrets over loss of lives owing to incessant nationwide strike action by doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Ayodele urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set machinery in motion for the restructuring of the health sector by prohibiting medical personnel, whom he said offer essential services, from embarking on strike.
Resident doctors are presently on strike to press home for full implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale and commencement of payment for the skipping of Consolidated Health Salary Scale 2 to members, as directed by the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday disclosed that adolescent health and development and its attendant challenges have taken a toll on the lives of youth in the country despite the assumption that young people are generally considered physically healthy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, Hajiya Rabi Jimeta made the disclosure while delivering a keynote address at a two day Technical Working Group Appraisal Meeting (TWG) on adolescent health and development in Nigeria organized by the ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Abuja.
She stated that youth are vulnerable to several unique health challenges such as sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies unsafe abortion, prostitution, forceful marriages, drug abuse among others.
According to Jimeta, the objective of the meeting was to proffer pragmatic solutions to the health problems facing the youth in the country.
The Permanent Secretary maintained that that the limited access to effective reproductive health, education, programmes and friendly services are the major are the major contributory factors to the poor sexual and reproductive health knowledge and behavior among young people in Nigeria.
CMD Ayodele, however, pleaded with the doctors in the Federal Teaching Hospital to show understanding, saying “the templates for the implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and payment for skipping Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) 2 have not been released by Federal Government, let alone releasing money for their payments.”
He added: “The Federal Government must start a process of restructuring the health sector. It seems as if the medical officers, including doctors, nurses and others are addicted to strike and this is killing the system.
“In 2014, doctors went on strike for over four months while JOHESU was on strike for about six months. Out of about 360 working days, hardly did they come to work for their legitimate duties for 120 days. We cannot afford to abandon our responsibilities because we offer essential services.
“How do you realize money to pay for residency training when workers are not working to make money? You can’t be embarking on strike at the slightest opportunity and be expecting sponsorship for training from the hospital because Federal Government is not paying them for.
“Let me also add that this rumour going rounds that the funding for CONHESS 2 and CONMESS had been factored into the 2015 Budget is not true. It is saddening that we are losing lives here on daily basis and we plead with our colleagues to resume to work. They must show understanding and patriotism,” he said.
Ayodele assured the workers that all their entitlements and arrears of unpaid benefits will be paid, insisting that the option of strike is counter-productive and not in the interest of the Nigerian populace.
He doused the tension elicited by fear that he could implement no-work-no-pay rule, saying, “only the Federal Government has the prerogative to apply such. And as long as there is no directive to that effect, I have no reason to do that,” he stressed.
Ayodele said he has been keeping the hospital going in rendering services to the people by making use of corps members.
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