Yaba Psychiatric Hospital Workers Commence Strike

Disturbed by Federal Government’s alleged refusal to pay five year promotion arrears to health professionals working at the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sectors Union, JOHESU, Yaba branch, commenced a seven day warning strike on Wednesday,to press home their demands.

The health workers have also called on the management of the Federal Neuron-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba not to privatise Total Diagnostic Centre, which was donated to the hospital last year by the Total Upstream Nigeria Limited and partners, as being proposed.

According to various health workers who spoke yesterday at the hospital premises during the declaration of the strike, over 800 health workers from, JOHESU, have been promoted without being paid their arrears in the last five years.

The strike means that all health workers, including psychiatric nurses, medical social workers, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists and medical radiographers at the hospital will not be attending to patients in need of psychiatric and neurological care.

Uzundu Eke, Chairman, Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, JOHESU, explained that since 2010, the Federal Government had refused to pay the sum of N388 million being owed as promotion arrears to the health workers and meetings by members of the union with office of the Accountant General of the Federation and management of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba to see that the money was paid have not yielded any positive response.

Abioye Omoyemi, Yaba branch of JOHESU Secretary, added that, “This same arrears have been paid to all JOHESU members in federal hospitals in Lagos, and I wonder why the case of those in the psychiatric hospital is different.”

He added that, “we have called on the president to intervene in the matter in order to save patients from the suffering that may follow the strike.”

On the issue of privatization of Total Diagnostic Centre, Eke said the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has the capacity to manage the hospital for the best interest of the patients, adding that having the centre managed by the private sector would be at the detriment of patients who will not be able to afford the exorbitant cost of the centre.

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