Kaduna doctors, nurses dare Governor el-Rufai, begin strike

Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai

Despite threats by the Kaduna State government to sack any health worker who participate in a strike, Kaduna State HealthCare Workers Unions and Associations on Saturday commenced a seven-day warning strike.

This was contained in a communique signed by Dr Danjuma Sale, Dr Emmanuel Joseph, Ibrahim Abashe and Dr Stephen Kache, among others and released to journalists at the end of their joint meeting.

The communique noted that the state doctors were on strike prior to the pandemic but were prevailed upon to call off their strike by the state government and Nigerian Medical Associations.

The communiqué said further that the strike was not intended to blackmail the state in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic but to press home some of their reservations.

The communiqué noted that even when they gave a notice of the impending strike, the state government failed to act but instead threatened to sack any health worker who participated in the drive.

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Thus, the medical personnel maintained that failure by the state government to act on their demands has compelled them to embark on the seven days warning strike.

The communique listed the grouses as follows:

— Kaduna State government deducted 25% of the salaries from about 11,000 of Healthcare workers in the midst of COVID 19 (April and May). This action was done in violation of section 5 of the Labour Act.
— Kaduna State Government paid between N150,000 to N450,000 as Occupational Safety incentives to about 300 selected health workers and nothing to health workers working as staff or volunteer in the IDCC and isolation centre or serving in some of the Covid-19 pillars. Only less than 2% of the health worker in the state benefited from the package.
— The promised 10% incentives for other health workers though inadequate is yet to be paid.
— Most health workers that were infected with Covid-19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them has been paid the purported N100,000 daily for 10 days.
— None of our members working in hospitals has been contacted to give their details for the widely publicized N5m and N2m life and disability insurance respectively.
— All health workers are exposed to varying degrees of risk of infectious diseases such as Covid-19, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, Lassa fever, Ebola fever, among others.
— There are no adequate PPEs in the state hospitals as evidenced by patients buying their own gloves and health workers getting their own personal facemask and eye goggles among other basic PPEs.

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