Health workers under the umbrella body of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have embarked on an indefinite strike beginning from 12am on Thursday, May 24, to press home their demands for health workers’ entitlements.

National vice chairman of JOHESU, Ogbona Chimela, announced the strike action at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

“Consequent upon the nonchallant, biased and lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Ministry of Health against JOHESU members and the resolution of the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of JOHESU on Monday, 8th May, 2023, our members in the federal health Institutions nationwide are hereby directed to withdraw their services indefinitely commencing from 00:00hour on Thursday, 25th May, 2023,” Chimela stated.

JOHESU is the umbrella body of five affiliate unions, namely, Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRAI), Non-academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Association (AHPA).

The JOHESU industrial action is coming days after resident doctors in the country suspended a warning strike, with federal government yet to address their concerns.

The issues for the strike by JOHESU are adjustment of consolidated health salary structure (CONHESS), payment of peculiar allowances to health workers under the aegis of JOHESU/AHPA, and immediate and unconditional implementation of the Consultant Cadre Circular for pharmacists in all federal health Institutions.

Other issues in contention are payment of all withheld salaries of their members in Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and outstanding April and May 2018 salaries of members in Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Azare, and payment of health workers excluded in the payment of new allowances.

The health workers are demanding the immediate approval and implementation of the technical committee report on CONHESS adjustment by the federal government and immediate payment of the omission and shortfall in the COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances of affected health workers in the institutions.