The workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), reported in large numbers at their various duty posts in compliance with the union’s directive.
JOHESU had on Monday in Abuja directed all its members nationwide to suspend the strike following the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The union had on Nov. 12 embarked on strike to press home some demands.
Some of the hospitals visited by NAN Correspondents are the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja; Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yaba; and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
At LUTH, health workers were in the hospital’s premises as early as 8.00a.m., singing songs of praises to God for preserving their lives to resume work after the strike.
Their gathering and singing attracted many patients and passersby who initially mistook them to be a religious group. Ayuba Wabba, the National Chairman of the union, in a statement read by Johnson Adetokunbo, the PRO of JOHESU, LUTH branch, said that Jonathan had promised to meet the union’s demands.
Wabba said, “It was agreed that calling off the strike is in the best interest of the nation and the union; so, we had to suspend the strike and direct our members to resume work immediately.”
Addressing the workers, Adetokunbo advised them to return fully to their duty posts without fear of intimidation.
“I thank all and sundry for your cooperation toward the success of the strike.
“We have been mandated to resume work without fear of intimidation,” he said.
Also, Kehinde Adegoke, the LUTH branch Chairman of the union, said that the workers had started general cleaning of all the departments.
Adegoke said, “We are hopeful that the Federal Government’s agreement with JOHESU will translate into tangible proofs that will guarantee lasting peace in the nation’s health sector.”
According to him, the Federal Government promised that there would be no victimisation of any worker for participating in the strike.
He also said that the government promised not to withhold any worker’s salary because of the strike.
At LASUTH, NAN reports that the workers – nurses, laboratory scientists, and pharmacists – were at their duty posts attending to patients.
The LASUTH branch Chairman of JOHESU, Rasheed Bamishe, told NAN that the workers had complied with the resumption directive and were already working.
“The strike was actually suspended on Monday; we have complied as directed by the national body of JOHESU after meeting with the president.
“Hopefully, patients will soon start coming into the hospital for treatment,“ he said.
Bamishe urged the Federal Government to play its part in ensuring that all the issues concerning the welfare of the workers would be addressed.
Also, Florence Ogunleye, the Chairperson, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, LASUTH branch, told NAN that nurses had been directed to start work.
“We have told our nurses to be at their duty posts in the wards and other departments that required their services,“ she said.
In his reaction, Dele Johnson, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed the resumption, saying, “the workers are back to work, and activities have fully resumed in the hospital“.
Meanwhile, some patients have expressed delight at the suspension of the strike.
Mrs Uche Oledibe told NAN that she heard about the resumption from her friend and decided to visit the hospital.
Oledibe said, “I am here now and I will soon see my doctor.
“When the strike was on, I visited the hospital and was attended to by doctors,” she told NAN.
Dekunle Ajayi, who was due for surgery, said that he was glad that the workers had resumed.
Ajayi urged the Federal Government and health workers to avert such strikes in the interest of patients.
“The health of people is very important,“ he said.
Bisi Adewale, also a patient, commended doctors’ efforts during the strike, adding that resumption of the workers would ensure quick and optimal healthcare services.
“During the strike, I had causes to come to the hospital and I must say that doctors were readily available.
“However, the running of the clinics was not so smooth; one had to go to one point to another to make payments and also had to endure unusual delay.
Another patient, Azeez Fashanu, told NAN that he paid more for laboratory tests and X-rays in privately-owned laboratories.
“I hope that this year, the doctors and health workers will try as much as possible to avoid strikes,” Fashanu said.
NAN reports that other demands of JOHESU are recognition of its members as consultants, promotion of officers and increase in retirement age of health workers from 60 to 65 years.
Photo Credit: Ginosphotos/Dreamstime.com