Following the industrial action embarked upon by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) across the country on Wednesday, the Health Minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu has called on them to go back to work in the interest of the masses in the country, while awaiting court ruling in the Appeal Court.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on all doctors across the country to go about their duties and ensure efficient delivery of health care delivery services to Nigerians.
The association said information reaching it revealed that plans were being made by some hospital support staff to prevent Nigerian doctors from providing healthcare services in public hospitals in Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, he disclosed that a meeting has been scheduled for Monday next week between the minister of labour, health and the striking health workers, accusing the health workers of being impatient considering that the issues raised by the union were still under litigation at the Appeal Court.
Chukwu said he did not immediately implement the industrial court ruling because, according to him, “a minister is expected to act under an expert advice. Our lawyers strongly advise that this ruling does not hold water. That the judgement is contradictory and they illustrated it to convince us that it is a bundle of confusion and contradiction.”
According to him, the lawyers after critically studying the judgement advised that the ministry should appeal the ruling because if left unchallenged at the Appeal Court, it would cause problem and confusion for the government and the entire country in the future.
“And the office of the Attorney General also looked at the ruling and advised that we should appeal. What do you want the minister to do? We are, therefore, appealing to all stakeholders to be reasonable and patient.”
The Health Minister who took responsibility for the happenings in the sector, however, said; “I don’t see how it is my fault that they will go on strike while the matter is still in court.”
He further noted that the president has inaugurated a committee directly under his watch to replace the former committee on harmony in the health sector.