Healthcare workers represented by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives have announced their participation in the upcoming nationwide strike organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The strike is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, and aims to address the adverse effects of subsidy removal, which has resulted in significant hardship for Nigerians.
Despite a court order that barred the NLC from going on strike in June, the Congress believes that it cannot stand idly by while Nigerians continue to suffer from the economic repercussions of subsidy removal. In an exclusive interview with Punch correspondent, the National Vice Chairman of JOHESU, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, expressed the urgent need for a better quality of life for healthcare workers, who have been deeply affected by the prevailing economic hardship.
Dr. Ogbonna emphasized that the solidarity among various trade unions, including JOHESU, the academics, private industries, and others affiliated with the Trade Union Congress and the NLC, means that the strike will be far-reaching and impactful. He cautioned against potential miscreants trying to hijack the planned strike, as the genuine intent is to advocate for the welfare of all workers, especially those in the health sector.
On the other hand, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Uche Ojinmah, clarified that doctors in the country would not be joining the NLC’s planned strike. He pointed out that the Nigerian Medical Association is not a member of the NLC, indicating that they will continue to focus on providing medical services to the public during this period.
As the strike date approaches, the collective voice of healthcare workers, supported by various trade unions, is raising awareness of the challenges faced by frontline workers. It is essential for the government and relevant stakeholders to acknowledge their grievances and engage in constructive dialogue to find lasting solutions. Addressing the concerns of healthcare workers will not only enhance their working conditions but also strengthen the healthcare system, ensuring better services for all Nigerians.
In conclusion, the planned nationwide strike serves as a platform for healthcare workers to demand the attention and support needed to navigate the economic hardships caused by subsidy removal. As the strike unfolds, the hope remains that all parties involved will work towards a resolution that ensures the welfare of workers while safeguarding the well-being of the nation as a whole.