The Federal Government has met with health workers, under the umbrella of the Joint Health Workers Unions to discuss pertinent concerns regarding pay grade adjustments, the state of the health workforce, outstanding arrears, and the establishment of timelines for forming boards at tertiary health institutions.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate disclosed this on his X handle @muhammadpate, on Thursday.

JOHESU’s members are the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria; the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals; the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, and Associated Institutions; and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions.

Our correspondent had exclusively reported that JOHESU wrote to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Finance, demanding an upward adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure.

JOHESU said it might resume its suspended strike if positive action was not taken by the Federal Government regarding the salary structure.

The Consolidated Health Salary Structure is the salary structure for health workers in pharmacy, and medical laboratory science, among others

The health workers in May last year embarked on a strike but suspended it after day 12 on June 5, 2023, following a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

Prof Pate on Thursday, however, noted that building trust and confidence in the government’s policies and programmes among various actors, and stakeholders within the sector is important to the renewal of Nigeria’s health system.

Pate said, “Building trust and confidence in our policies and programmes among various actors and stakeholders within the sector is important to the renewal of Nigeria’s health system. This involves respectfully engaging, listening, and seeking advice from health workers’ unions, civil society, and traditional and faith leaders for guidance on transforming our country’s healthcare system.

“This week, we engaged in productive discussions with representatives from major health unions, which collectively represent over 90 per cent of the workforce under the umbrella of @JohesuNigeri, as part of our ongoing consultative dialogue on pressing issues in the health sector.

“We acknowledge and thank you for sharing pertinent concerns regarding pay grade adjustments, the state of the health workforce, outstanding arrears, and the establishment of timelines for forming boards at tertiary health institutions. In line with Mr President’s @officialABAT Renewed Hope Agenda for improved health outcomes for all Nigerians, and the core role of JOHESU, we value and are committed to sustaining the cordial and trusting relationship we have developed since this administration.”

He said the government is working towards ensuring progress in resolving the outstanding legacy issues that have lingered for more than 10 years.

“We extend our gratitude to the leaders from the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, which includes about 17 professional associations, and the leadership of the Northern and Southern Nursing Unions for your confidence in our mission.

“Although we are facing challenges as a country, we are wholly dedicated to fulfilling Mr President’s promises to the Nigerian people. Together, we shall work to transform our healthcare delivery system. Confident that, in time, we will all reflect on this era with pride and gratitude to God for our collective sacrifices to save Nigerian lives,” he added.