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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nurses in Oyo State threaten to go on indefinite strike

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The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Oyo State chapter, has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike should state authorities fail to accede to their requests.

The association issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government, saying at the expiration of the deadline it will embark on strike beginning from Wednesday, 22 May.

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The council made this resolution at a state executive meeting on Tuesday, 30 April, where members deliberated issues affecting the welfare and career progression of nurses working with the state government.

In a letter addressed to the government and issued on 2 May, the association said it opted for an industrial action after years of attempts to lobby the authorities failed.

The ultimatum given by the association is between 2 May and 22 May.

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The letter reads in part: “It’s pertinent to note that all these issues have been for a very long time, and several letters have been written for the government to come to our aid without a positive response”.

Demands

The association, among other things, has demanded the recruitment of more nurses in the state to make up for the exodus of healthcare workers recorded in the state.

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In Nigeria, faced with inflation, poor salaries, and an overstretched healthcare system, thousands of healthcare professionals are leaving in droves for better opportunities abroad.

This has led to a shortage of healthcare workers in medical facilities nationwide.

According to the National Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Mohammed Pate, about 16,000 doctors have left the country in the past five years.

To address the shortage of staff and improve health care delivery in the state, the association said it demanded a “Mass recruitment of nurses and midwives/nurse educators into Hospital Management Board, Primary Health Care Board, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho and College of Nursing Sciences, Eleyele, Ibadan.”

It also demanded the correction of what it termed the wrong notional dates on promotion letters and requested the implementation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CHSS).

The association asked for a “financial implementation of 2018 to 2022 promotion for nurses and midwives working in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho.”

The demands as stated in the letter also include: “Adoption and implementation of Enhanced Hazard Allowances for Nurses and Midwives Working in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho, Oyo State College of Nursing Eleyele-Ibadan, Oyo State College of Health Technology Eleyele, Ibadan and Primary Health Care Development Board/ LGA.

“Adoption and implementation of lateral conversion/career progression for nurses and midwives on GL12 and above that have possessed (acquired) a degree certificate in Nursing Sciences (BNSc).”

The association also asked for the payment of nurses’ January and February salaries withheld in 2011 and the uniform allowance for nurses and midwives in the state.

“If all the aforementioned prayers are not met within fourteen working days, the State Executive Council of NANNM will have no option than to direct her members to proceed on indefinite strike till when all these demands are met,” the council maintained.

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