Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday called on the Federal Government to invest more in the nation’s health sector.
The Congress also admonished the government to avert the planned indefinite strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions over the non-payment of their outstanding salaries occasioned by the industrial dispute in 2018.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said this during a press briefing at the Labour House in Abuja to mark the year 2020 Global Day of Action on Care.
He noted that government officials were yet to learn any lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, apart from the fact that Nigeria’s health care sector has been neglected for too long, health care workers have been subjected to unfair treatment for too long, adding that government should begin to invest heavily in the sector in order to end medical tourism.
He said, “Essential workers as they are often called at crisis times, do not have the necessary personal protective equipment to work with, especially before the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I also wish to use this occasion to call on the Federal Government to pay the two months salaries owed health workers arising from an industrial dispute in 2018.
“The recent seven days warning strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions to resolve the outstanding issues is yet to receive the attention of government and a social dialogue meeting on this matter is yet to be convened.”
Wabba also demanded a quick conclusion on negotiations on salary adjustment for JOHESU members in line with alternative dispute resolution processes of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which all parties involved in the negotiation were subjected to.
“We call for an end to all forms of medical tourism especially by our elected and appointed public officials. We reiterate our position that government must be ready to invest heavily in the health sector as no country survives without effective health care,” he added.