The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has assured Nigerians the government is making efforts to end the strike by the Joints Health Unions (JOHESU) which has crippled government hospitals across the country.
Mr. Adewole gave this assurance on Wednesday while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
The minister said government has set up a high-level committee to review the demands of the striking union and find a lasting solution.
JOHESU, comprising health workers apart from medical doctors and dentists, are on an indefinite strike to press home their demands (technical and financial) from the government.
The minister said the committee had met five times start from last week Tuesday and would also be meeting Wednesday night.
“We are really at work with respect to this. We have done quite a lot of computation, we have met with (Ministry of )Finance, we have met with Budget and National planning. We are looking into all issues relating to this strike,” he said.
The minister however debunked the union’s claim of a prior agreement which was not fulfilled.
“But let me also put it on record that when we came on board, JOHESU approached us that they had an agreement with government but we discovered that there was really no agreement with government.
‘What they were able to provide were minutes of meetings held previously and we told them that no responsible government will implement minutes of previous meetings. And of the 15 points demands, we have met 14 of them over the one and a half years. The only one left we are currently meeting on,” Mr Adewole added.
The strike which is on its eighth day has crippled health care delivery across federal health institutions across the country.
The government had threatened to invoke the ‘no work no pay’ rule on the strike but the union called the bluff of the government, saying it will be on the strike until its demands are met.
The union also vowed that state and local government health institutions will join the strike within two weeks if the government fails to accede to the demands.
JOHESU also said it is no longer ready to go back to the negotiation table with the government.