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Johesu Wants FG to Respect Abuja Declaration On 15 Percent Budget for Health - News - Nursesarena Forum

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Johesu Wants FG to Respect Abuja Declaration On 15 Percent Budget for Health by adigunlasim : January 02, 2015, 12:01:41 PM
 By Emeka Anuforo, Source:
Guardian Newspaper

FOR allegedly showing indifference towards resolving the ongoing strike by health
workers, the federal government has drawn the ire of medical laboratory scientists in the country.

Speaking under the umbrella of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), the group noted how
government's alleged indifference to resolving the issues around the strike ridiculed its determination to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and also achieve health- related Millennium Development Goals

The President of AMLSN, Toyosi Raheem, who spoke at a lecture organized by the body in Abuja, yesterday blamed the federal
government for the prolonged strike action currently being embarked upon by the Joint
Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

Similarly, JOHESU has urged the federal government to step up funding for the health sector by respect the 15 per cent minimum allocation to the sector as proposed by the
African Heads of States under the 'Abuja Declaration'.

Speaking on the 'Challenges in the health sector: The way forward,'  Raheem noted:

"Our association has observed with regret, the manner in which the current crisis in the
health sector is being handled by governments at all levels in Nigeria.

"Regrettably, in Nigeria, crisis and industrial actions in health sector is given little or no
attention at all. This in most cases leads to avoidable loss of lives and unbearable economic burdens on the masses especially,in terms of getting alternative access to health
care locally or outside the country."

He called on government to give urgency to the resolution of the ongoing crisis in the
health sector.

His words: "Patriotic Nigerians should appeal to government to urgently discuss with JOHESU members on how to find lasting
solutions to the crisis. The current situation in the health sector deserves urgent national

Also speaking, President of JOHESU, Ayuba Waba, was hopeful that the crisis in the sector would soon be over.

His words: "It is common knowledge that no one profession in the sector can solely provide the integrated services required for the good health of persons and citizens at

"This is one area where some of us in JOHESU and other healthcare professionals do not
tend to agree with our counterparts in Medical and Dental profession who appear in most cases to try to look at other workers as second class citizens or people that can best
be described as hewers of wood and fetchers of water."

He stressed: "Whether we like it or not, the issue of harmony in the health sector is very fundamental for all of us to be able to discharge our responsibilities of providing
quality health services to Nigerians. Globally,no single professionals can provide services to our teaming clients without relying on the other. That is why it is important for us to continue to work as a team. Government should try to do everything possible to try to
encourage team work and team spirit.

"This is because in other spheres, you have indices that can prove to the fact their health
care system is doing well. You cannot differentiate between one health professional and the other. In fact, go to other spheres,from the ordinary cleaner to all the other
professionals in the system, you cannot differentiate who actually in charge because
they work for the common good of the system. I think this is one very important issue that as health professionals and health care providers and the managers of our various health care institutions must take on
board. There is no way you can provide harmony in a system where there is no fairness, justice and equity.

"Globally, the only panacea to peace is where there is justice and fairness. Therefore, it is
one important issue that has eluded us in the health sector. This is because the fact that
today we are operating a two salary structure,point to the fact that it is not well. I remember in the past in most countries and even in Ghana, they operate what they call
single spine salary structure and therefore,the only difference is you professional

"Whether we like it or not, the issue of our working environment and the standards is also very important,especially in laboratory services."

On funding for the sector, he noted: "There is lack of proper funding of health care services.
Budgetary provision for health in both federal, state and local government levels falls below the 15 per cent Abuja Declaration the African Heads of States have actually subscribed to. When you don't have the necessary requirement for health
professionals to perform optimally, it brings a lot of concern and also it can affect the quality of service we provide because health care is expensive just like education.

"There is no way you can provide quality health without the necessary equipment and
the latest technologies. In most of our facilities today, I am not sure even in the tertiary institutions, whether we can boost of the latest technologies when it comes to health care delivery or when it comes to
laboratory services because you have seen the rising cases of violence even in the health
care system and also rising cases of misdiagnosis not because the health professional have not been able to put in his
best, but because of part of the constraints where equipment are lacking for example
simple reagents and occupational safety tools."

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, who spoke at the event stressed
how medical laboratory science constitutes a major player in the health sector. He noted, however: "It is increasingly
worrisome the rate at which inter-professional bickering is impacting negatively on
qualitative healthcare services in Nigeria. This portends the danger of aggravating poor
health indices in the country.

"There can be no meaningful development in the face of rancor, acrimony and invidious
relationship. In fact, the situation is inimical to the development of the health. One
evidently clear negative impact is the rise in medical tourism even to African countries
embarked upon by Nigerians even low income earners.

"There is compelling need therefore, for practitioners in the sector, as a matter of
urgency, to forge a peaceful and harmonious relationship in order to provide a platform to
confront the myriads of emergent challenges in the health sector and guarantee rapid development. My office, in this recognition,has provided full support in the on-going
negotiations with the Joint Health Sector Workers Union, JOHESU, in a bid to ensure
industrial harmony, particularly, in the health sector and the entire public service,in general."

On some of the requests of JOHESU, he noted:

"The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation is aware of the request of the
association for Enhanced Entry Point into the Civil Service at the same point as your
counterparts in pharmacy, physiotherapy and others in the category...

"As a critical stakeholder in national health,economic growth and development, it has
become imperative for your association to explore modern technologies and innovative
means of fulfilling your obligation to humanity. The challenges of today's world in
the health sector - recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the West African sub-region and
the fight against its spread as well as the vicissitude of cancer and other diseases underscores the imperative of innovation, and greater display of professionalism on the part
of your members wherever you render services.

"My office is inclined to fostering collaborative partnership in enhancing the
quality of professionals and to facilitate adherence to professional ethics and the
public service rules. We are the verge of institutionalizing structured leadership
training to retrieve the dignity of the civil service as a long term objective and to instigate qualitative and responsible
leadership, in the immediate term. "

« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 12:39:12 PM by Idowu Olabode »

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