Chief Medical Director, CMD, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Michael Ibadin, has appealed to members of the Joint Health Workers Union, JUHESU, in the country, who have been on strike since December 12, 2014 to suspend their strike and return to the negotiation table. He said the people have the right to demand services for which the health workers are paid, adding that government was still paying their salaries and allowances even though they were on strike with the hope that this would pave way for negotiation.
Prof. Ibadin, who addressed newsmen in Benin, Edo State, on the on-going JUHESU strike, said that the strike was dragging for too long, adding that it was the ordinary masses that bear the brunt of the strike as many patients who were moved from one hospital to another due to the strike died in the process. He said: “Sixty-five to 75 percent of the workforce was not there. Members of the public are the major beneficiaries of our services. We have asked our doctors to continue to run their clinics. The dialysis centre is functioning, ICU is functioning, but this is a public hospital and members of the public want full medical services. Total and social loss due to the strike is monumental. This strike has been on for too long.”
On promotion of JUHESU members, Prof. Ibadin said that a panel of experts on inter-professionalism, headed by former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Yayale, was set up by the Federal Government to look into the issue, adding that the government had since directed that the White Paper on the findings should be made public. He said that nobody has been denied promotion in UBTH at any salary level, adding that the adjustment in their salaries cannot be done immediately until there was a budgetary provision for such. He said the strike was affecting UBTH, “as some departments are not running effectively.”