Get ready, you might have to rely on private hospitals for your medicare in few days.

This is because the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) on Monday gave the Federal Government a January 31 deadline to resolve all disputes, and meet the unions’ outstanding demands, or face industrial action.

JOHESU’s National Chairman, Mr Josiah Biobelemoye, said in Lagos that the government had failed to adjust college skills for its members.

Biobelemoye also stated that the government had withheld April and May 2018 salaries of some union members that participated in the last strike.

Other demands by JOHESU include the age-long struggle for recognition of consultancy cadre for eligible health workers and other outstanding allowances.

The five affiliate unions of JOHESU are the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Medical and Health Workers’ Union (MHWUN).

Others include the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.

Josiah said that the unions would be compelled to embark on strike, if the government failed to meet its demands by January 31.

“There is a time limit which should have been 21 days, but now, it is over six months because there are still some issues that are unresolved,”  the JOHESU chairman said.

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He claimed that the government breached its agreement with the unions after the last year’s strike, that none of its members should be sanctioned.

 “Non-payment of salary during strike was not part of the memorandum of understanding we signed with the government.

 “We also have valid order of courts on our outstanding allowances; rather, the Federal Ministry of Health, through various hospital managements, illegally paid the arrears to medical doctors.

“Medical doctors are not our members, and not entitled to these allowances because they were legitimately appropriated for us; which really need to be addressed,” he added.

This will be another big blow to the government that is still trying to resolve issues with the Academic Staff Union of Universities that has been on strike since November 5.

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