COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY MEETING OF SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITIES, TEACHING HOSPITALS, RESEARCH INSTITUTES AND ASSOCIATED INSTITUTIONS SSAUTHRIAl, TEACHING/SPECIALIST HOSPITALS /FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRES SECTOR HELD ON 13TH AND 14TH OF JULY, 2016, AT THE NATIONAL HOSPITAL ABUJA.
The Council after the meeting resolves as follows:
Implementation of Agreements Reached with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU):
The Council notes the progress made towards the implementation of the agreements with JOHESU after the expiration of the 7-days nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the unions,on the 22nd to 28th of June, 2016. Council urges the Federal Government to expedite action on the release of necessary circulars on adjusted CONHESS, 65 years retirement age and funds to settle all the issues in dispute to prevent another shut down of health services.
Non-Payment of Arrears of Promotions and Relativity Allowance:
Council notes that the Federal Government via a circular letter Ref; BD 2000/EXP/SHORTFALL 2016, dated 16′ April, 2016, requested all government agencies to submit details of all arrears owed workers in their employment with a view to settling them. Council however is concerned that no visible progress had been made to settle these outstanding arrears, some of which dated back to 2009. Council therefore calls on the Federal Government, to put all necessary machinery in place, to settle these back logs of arrears once and for all.
Tenureship of/Liberalising the Headship of Federal Tertiary Hospitals:
Council welcomes the recent statement credited to the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and quoted by The Guardian, that: “The tenure of Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions be limited to a single term and that this decision was taken as part of comprehensive measures to address some of the causes of conflict in the institutions”.
Council strongly suggest that the nomenclature of the Heads of the various Federal Tertiary Health Institutions be changed to Chief Executive Officers, as this will suitably liberalise the headship of such institutions with a view of appointing credible, professionally unbiased, experienced health administrators or professionals that will provide the enabling environment and equitable allocation and utilisation of resources for optimal discharge of quality health care at all levels in Nigeria.
Evaluation of Management Systems in our Tertiary Hospitals:
Council notes that the management system should be re-invigorated in such a way to bring in more effective and efficient service delivery to clients, in order to alleviate the sufferings they pass through when they attend our hospitals. Government budgetary allocation to health should be increased to a minimum of 15% recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) and institute Intervention Funds to provide for the necessary infrastructure and to replace obsolete and non-functional equipments to enable workers discharge their duties effectively.
Composition of the Boards of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions:
Council urges the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency; constitute the Boards of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions in line with the agreements reached with the Unions in the Health Sector. The importance of these Boards of Management to the smooth and efficient running of these health institutions and the overall delivery of adequate healthcare services to the populace cannot be over-emphasized.
State of the Nation:
Council observes with dismay the recent economic downturn in the country which continues to bring hardship on the citizenry coupled with the non payment of salaries by about 27 states in the Nation. We therefore call upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to introduce policies that will alleviate this suffering. We also encourage the Government to intensify efforts in the fight against corruption and which should by all means be extended to the health sector.
Comrade M. O. Ogundipe
Comrade Ademola Olajire.
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