Doctors in Kaduna State have been performing the duties of heath workers in health institutions since the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) went on strike, Daily Trust investigation has revealed.
JOHESU and Assembly of Health Care Professionals had on April 17, 2018 declared an industrial strike demanding the adjustment of CONHESS Salary structure and payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping among other demands. The strike action crippled activities in federal health institution. The union on May 9, 2018 directed states, FCT and local governments to join the strike.
JOHESU in Kaduna state did not join the strike until May 18, 2018; while it asked the state government to issue a circular for implementation of the balance of 30percent CONHESS for the state and local government health workers. Other demands at the state level include that all statutory and professional dues deductions including pension, taxes, national housing fund, cooperative contribution and union check-off dues be remitted without further delay to the appropriate institutions among others.
In spite of the strike action, doctors have been attending to patients and are also going extra mile to cover for the absence on the other health workers who are on strike. Our reporter who visited Gwamna Awan general hospital observed the presence of over six doctors attending to patients, taking records and managing emergency cases among others.
It was observed that the wards were locked, as such, patients are not admitted. Also, patients are asked to see the doctor with a piece of paper where prescriptions can be written for them.
Patients have however commended doctors in the state for the services they have been rendering since the commencement of strike action by JOHESU.
One of the patient who gave her name as Mrs. Mary commended the doctors, saying, “Thank God the doctors are working and saving lives. I do not know what would have happened to my daughter if there was nobody to attend to her when we rushed her to the hospital. As soon as we got to the hospital, the doctors attended to her and was even kept under their watch for some hours until she became stable,” she said.
Another patient, Mr. Ibrahim said he has been visiting the hospital for over one week now and the doctors have been attending to him. “I think the doctors have really tried, they didn’t even mind that other health workers are not working; the only thing is that they don’t admit patients but they treat patients who visits the facility,” he said.