Health Workers Strike: Death Toll rises In A’Ibom Hospitals…As Union, FG Meeting Fail

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Following the inability of the Federal Government to attend the scheduled meeting with health workers on Monday, the strike called by Joint Health Workers Union, JOHESU, has taken another dimension as workers have threatened to stop “skeletal and concessional services.”The one month old strike has already taken its toll on patients in the state as many have been sent to their early graves while others have been relocated from public to private hospitals.

Our correspondents who went round different public hospitals in the state observed that many wards are virtually empty while those who lost their loved ones are yet to recover from the shock that the strike has brought to them.It was gathered that despite negative effect of the strike on patients, health workers are still pressing for “total compliance” even as they accused federal government of “lack of commitment and seriousness”.

A senior health worker in the state who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that workers will not return to work until government implements the agreement reached in 2009.He said, “we are not going back to work.  Government must implement the agreement it signed in 2009 whether lives are involved or not it is does not matter for now”.

JOHESU want government to implement the agreement it reached with the union which it has refused despite several rulings of the National Industrial Court in their favour.Our correspondent learnt that two previous meetings since the strike began on November 12, 2014 have been without “meaningful progress”.  The unions have vowed not to “turn back until victory is achieved”, it was gathered.

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