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Health workers demand full payment of unpaid salaries

AS cases of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continue to increase in Nigeria, health workers on Thursday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently approve the payment of their outstanding salaries.

The medical officials, under the umbrella body of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), said since 2018, the federal government has refused to pay their outstanding salaries for the month of April and May when the union went on demonstration.

Dr. Murtala Umar, JOHESU Chairman in Kano State said the government need to effect the payment of their outstanding because many health workers and their families are currently at risk of contracting the virus.

In June 2018, Prof. Isaac Adewole, former Minister of Health came up with the ‘No Work No Pay’ rule in a reference letter DHS/166/T2/198 following the nationwide strike action by JOHESU.

Speaking during Sunrise,  a ChannelsTV programme, Umar said the government has withheld the salaries of their members when they went on strike in 2018, whereas the ASUU had already got outstanding salaries for January and February.

“We just want the government to be fair to all workers,” he said

Though he applauded the President for recognising the health workers with disclosed plans to offer supports, he said the best time to assist the health workers should be now that they are confronted with the global pandemic.

Umar said many health workers had treated patients whom they did not know tested positive to coronavirus. Hence, many of them contracted the virus

“ A lot them (health workers) are still waiting for their results… We are praying they should be negative,” Umar added.


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