From: Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki
Health workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on Wednesday, took to the streets to demand for the resignation or removal of Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
The protesters alleged what they called ‘”deliberate infringements on their rights” by the Federal Ministry of Health.
The protesting health workers, who matched from FETHA 11 to FETHA 1, carried placards bearing inscriptions like “Federal Ministry of Health stop deception and Federal Ministry of Health obey PSR and court judgment among others called on the National Assembly to call Health Minister to order.
Chairman of NUAHP, Comrade Obiefuna Okeke, who read their protests letter before the Chief Medical Director of FETHA, Dr. Emeka Ogah, said the union condemned and rejected in its entirety ,the stagnation of promotion of their members.
JOHESU said the ranking of Nigeria’s health system 187 out of 190 nations by the World Health Organization, WHO attested to the level of decay in the country’s health sector which if it were to be in other climes, the Health Minister should have voluntarily resigned.
“The action of Federal Ministry of Health to stagnate officers on CONHESS level 11-14 after promotion amounts to a surreptitious attempt to reverse the legitimate skipping of CONHESS 10 as ruled on by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria”
They also demanded that the arrears of 2015 and 2016 promotion be released as well as the arrears of the enhanced Call Duty Allowance that has accumulated from January 2014-July 2015 with immediate effect to the affected workers as the reward for their hardwork in order to be more productive.
“Our members in all junior staff cadre that have followed the due process in acquiring additional qualifications and deserved to be converted to the senior staff cadre have exercised sufficient patience for the release of their names. We therefore demand an immediate release of the list of such eligible persons as well as the release of their accrued arrears.”
Receiving the letter on behalf of the Health Minister, the CMD who was represented by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, Robinson Onoh, assured the workers that their protests letter would be conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja without delay, where their complaints and grievances would be properly addressed.