Nurses working at Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki FETHA, Ebonyi State have called on the Federal Ministry of Health to address what they described as poor condition of service being experienced at their work places.
The Nurses made their feelings known during a protest march from FETHA Two to FETHA One of the Hospital where they registered their grievances before the Management.
Addressing newsmen, the Spokesperson of the Nurses, Comrade Georgina Osimiri explained that the protest was a nationwide event to make government to put an end to staff stagnation, re-designation of senior Nurses and delay in the implementation of skipping allowance following court judgment.
“We are saying no to non promotion ,our promotion result has not been released .That of 2015, we are still waiting for it. Not to talk of arrears, we are saying no to removal of teaching allowance of our colleagues on CONHESS 7&8”.
Another Nurse, Comrade Jude Ariom explained that the protest was also aimed at drawing the attention of the government to other challenges in the sector such as inadequate safety measures and infrastructure.
“We have decided to protest to let everybody speak out for us because soon now we go on strike, people will start calling us to remember the patients. They should fix infrastructure in the health system.”
Reacting, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. EmekaOgar assured the Nurses that all the issues were being looked into by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Management of the Hospital and would be addressed soon.
“We have heard the grievances, the assurance is that any that is peculiar to our hospital we try as much as possible to address it. On the one that is national, my advice is the peaceful protest is good, you people have to follow it up with dialogue”.
The Nurses carried placards with various inscriptions such as “pay us twenty sixteen Uniform and Call Allowances” and “stop over taxation”.
Also, in Enugu State, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, (UNTH), ItukuOzalla, Branch staged a protest over what they described as unfair treatment by the Federal Ministry of Health.
The Nurses numbered about fifty carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘’Federal Ministry of Health please respect court judgment; “Promotion should be promotion and not empty paper”; “Nurses are professionals that should be respected and not treated as slaves” and “UNTH Nurses say no to stagnation’’ among others.
The protest was held simultaneously in all Federal Health Institutions across the country
AMECHI ODO & MAUREEN OTUKWU