Teaching Hospitals Privatization Sparks Controversy


As the health sector grapples with the debilitating effects of the
on-going 3-day warning strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions
(JOHESU) over the non -implementation of the Aug 26-27, 2013 agreement
it entered with the Federal Government,(FG), ?a fresh crisis appear to
be brewing already over an alleged plan to privatize some departments
in these referral hospitals nationwide.

Also, the alleged jumbo pay approved for the medical doctors has
stoked pent-up anger within other unions in the sector.

The local chairman of the JOHESU at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Comrade Gerald Adinma who spoke with
journalists yesterday at the hospital premises in Nnewi condemned the
attitude of the federal government toward agreements it willingly
entered into.

Adinma who addressed journalists alongside the Union?s secretary- Mr
Daudu Samaila and other exco members and members stated that the
current warning strike may transform into an indefinite strike if the
FG fails to change its attitude for the better, at least in the
interest of the poor masses.

He pointed out the rumoured plan to privatize or sell off the
franchisee of the laboratory, pharmacy and the account departments in
teaching hospitals would be met with a stiff resistance because it
would be an evil wind that will not do the health sector or any
citizen any good.

Comrade Adinma said that if the federal government think that it want
to save cost through privatisation it should start with the medical
doctors who goes home with jumbo salaries outside having their private

The JOHESU chief said that the purported selective privatisation
would actually be counter-productive and recalled that when the
security, laundry and catering departments were privatised, he alleged
that it was the same big men doctors that were given the contracts to
manage those departments.

Adinma appealed passionately to the President Goodluck Jonathan led
administration to learn to keep agreements it entered into to prevent
un-necessary industrial actions which has the capacity to compound the
woes of the populace . He also stressed the need for the federal
government to know that the health care of the people cannot and
should not be left to the forces of demand and supply?.

Health care of the people, according to her ?should not be operated
with the sole aim of profit, the welfare of the people should be
paramount in decisions and policies.”

A visit to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi revealed
that the hitherto ever busy hospital has been reduced to a shadow of
itself as the strike has completely paralyzed all activities. No new
patient was admitted while the in-patients and out patients were
simply left to their fate, while the junior staff go about discussing
in groups.

from?chuks collins

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