Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday described the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) as “an illegal body” that should not be accorded any recognition by Nigerians. The body said the threat by JOHESU to commence indefinite strike by midnight, on Wednesday (today), was uncalled for because their demands were envy-driven. The health workers, had, on Monday, issued strike threat, after what it called federal government’s failure to implement the agreement signed with the unions September 30, last year.
JOHESU is an amalgam of some five unions namely; Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU). Faulting the body’s decision to go on strike at a press conference in Abuja, NMA President, Prof. Mike Ogirima, noted that there is always an edge for medical doctors world over in the healthcare sector, and any attempt to disrupt it would be resisted by the doctors.
He believed the planned strike is targeted at the medical doctors, who, according to him, other healthcare practitioners were envious of. “When you say JOHESU, it means Joint Health sector Unions, it’s an illegal body. Quote me, it’s illegal because it is not registered. Membership of that body includes all other health workers, excluding the medical doctors. “We are not saying that our exclusion makes the body illegal; but they are full of envy, rivalry and lies. Just yesterday, their leadership came on air to attack doctors. This strike they are planning for tomorrow or today is against medical doctors,” he said.