Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Health workers under the aegis of National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) in collaboration with the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) on Tuesday threatened to go on an indefinite strike beginning from Thursday, June 18, if the state government does not pay the five to nine salary arrears owed them.
The threat was handed down in a statement signed by the state Chairman of NAGGMDP, Dr Diatah James, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Tuesday.
The Associations said they had given the state government a 21-day ultimatum over issues that need urgent attention in the health sector of the state, but regretted that the state government is yet to address those issues.
Dr James further listed other demands of the health workers in the state to include timely payment of salaries, payment of special COVID-19 allowance, immediate implementation of CONHESS, skipping of health workers at the Primary Health Centres and payment of their arrears.
The NAGGMDP also urged the government to ensure proper entry point for medical laboratory scientists, provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers battling COVID-19 as well as massive employment of all cadre of health workers to avoid a collapse of the health sector in the state.
He warned that health workers in the state would have no option than to embark on the planned strike action after the expiration of their 21-day ultimatum on Thursday should the government fail to attend to their demands.
‘I, therefore, call on the public, including well-meaning sons and daughters of the state, royal fathers and the government to intervene in order to save the health sector from imminent collapse,’ Dr James appealed.