The Joint Health Sector Union on Tuesday in Abuja urged the Federal Government to upgrade hospitals across the country to ensure quality healthcare delivery.
Mr Jelili Kilani, the Chairman, National Hospital Senior Staff Association, Abuja, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the second day of a three-day rally embarked on by the union.
NAN reports that the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions of JOHESU on Monday commenced a-three-day rally to emphasise their demands.
Kilani, who decried poor condition of most hospitals across the country, described the condition as inimical to quality healthcare delivery.
He said no health worker could render quality care to patients when needed equipment among others were not available and the available ones were obsolete.
He specifically urged the government to improve on the available equipment and other critical requirements that would ensure better health for their clients.
Kilani said no health system would work efficiently without the provision of basic amenities, equipment, consumables, conducive environment and better welfare for workers.
“The rally was informed in view of the injustices being perpetrated and meted-out on JOHESU members by the Ministry of Health over time.
“It is our right to have better working environment and for the patient to receive quality healthcare services, but at the moment the condition of our working environment is bad and the patients are suffering.
“Most times patients find it difficult to get chairs to sit on. At times when we have patients to be admitted in the hospital, we find it difficult to access basic necessities for such patients.’’
Other demands of the union include payment of members’ salary arrears for April and May, 2018, upward adjustment of CONHESS and payment of arrears of various entitlements.
The chairman explained that the Federal Government had earlier reached an agreement with the union to implement those agreements, but reneged.
“It is the right of the union members to be paid their April and May 2018 salary that was unjustly withheld by the Federal Ministry of Health, and Labour and Productivity, not a privilege.
“Other unions went on strike and their salary was paid but if we are so important and critical to the survival of the nation, then it behoves on the government to do the needful.
“Doctors went on strike within the regime of this same Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, but he did not withhold their salaries, so why should our own be withheld.
“Therefore, we call on government to take good care of us so that we do not go on strike,” Kilani said.
NAN also reports that membership of JOHESU in the hospital were drawn from the Senior Staff Association, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, and Medical and Health Workers Union.