New Telegraph

Strike: JOHESU Wants Buhari To Implement Report On CONHESS Adjustment

…alleges MDAs in health sector most corrupt, incompetent

A few days to handing over power to the next administration, President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to ensure he approves and implement the technical committee report on the adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) before leaving office.

Health workers under the aegis ofqqh Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (AHPA), made the call during a protest on Wednesday in Abuja, to register their displeasure over government’s failure to meet their demands; nonpayment of hazard allowance, an end to the discrimination in the health industry, adjustment in the CONHESS as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) amongst others.

The aggrieved unions who had issued a 15 day ultimatum to the Federal Government in a letter dated 9th May 2023, were seen holding placards with various inscriptions, vowed to embark on its planned indefinite strike from midnight if nothing was done by the outgoing administration to attend to their demands.

Addressing newsmen, the Acting National Secretary, Comrade Matthew Ajorutu, accused the last three health ministers who were physicians, of deliberately truncating adjustment of CONHESS on four occasions within the last 12 years.

He said: “Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Federal Government and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) established strongly that once there is an adjustment in any of the salary structure, the other structure should be adjusted commensurately.

“The last three successively Physician Health Ministers in the last twelve (12) years that is; Prof. C Chukwu (2011-2015), Prof. Isaac Adewole (2015-2019), and the present Minister Dr. Ehanire Osagie (2019-Date) have deliberately truncated the adjustment of CONHESS on four (4) occasions since January 2, 2014 (nine and a half years ago) when the first adjustment of CONMESS for Physicians took place and subsequently in 2017, 2018 and now May, 2023.

“This social injustice and discriminatory adjustment championed by the Federal Ministry of Health in favour of the Physicians and to the great disadvantage of other health workers lead to a Trade Dispute declared by the Joint Health sector Unions (JOHESU) in September, 2021. This dispute was however apprehended by the Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Chris Ngige on 7 September, 2021.

“Upon resumption of negotiation at the Federal Ministry of Health at a meeting held on 19” September, 2021, the FG and JOHESU team agreed to the setting up of a High Level Inter-Ministerial Committee to determine the justification for the adjustment of CONHESS, work out a detailed financial implication and make appropriate recommendations. The Technical Committce Report had since been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Health for onward transmission to the Federal Exccutive Council. ‘That the Ministry has refused to do since over a year.

“We (sic) call on (sic) President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately approve and implement the Technical Committee Report on the adjustment of CONHESS.”

The health workers further alleged that the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) in the health sector were the most corrupt and lack competence in delivering on their mandates.

“The militating bane in the spread of benefit packages is domineering . influence of Physicians in the Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs); from the Federal Ministry of Health to agencies like National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and others where the Physician-CEOs have skewed privileges as well as other benefit packages in the direction of their Physician brethren.

“Today, the MDAs in the Health Sector are rated the most corrupt with all the attendant incompetences and poor output.”

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