Abuja - The Nigerian Youth Champions for Universal Health Coverage (NYC4UHC), a Civil Society Organisation, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the incessant strikes in the country's health sector.
It said the industrial action has affected the health sector across the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has told the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to stay away from the ongoing strike by members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) as their activities are making it hard for government to resolve issues that led to the strike.
He said: "Negotiations are still on with JOHESU and the Minister of Labour is leading the negotiation, and we expect that we will conclude on all issues very soon".
JOHESU which is made up of: Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIA), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU) has been on strike since April 17, 2018.
Union members had lamented that it was "unsafe to visit the hospital now that we are on strike because patients might receive half or low quality treatment which is inimical to their health".
The minister accused the leadership of NMA of delaying the peace process between the unions and the federal government.
"The federal government should reach a compromise with the health workers because Nigerians are dying. Please take this as a notice".
"The above reminder is predicated on the extension of the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the amorphous body called "JOHESU".
In a statement he issued, the presidential hopeful, Mr Iheanachor Ezeakor said for the interest of the poor masses who can't afford the services of private hospitals, said the federal government should reach a compromise with the health workers.
The health Minister in a statement said he has also received reports from resident Doctors that JOHSU members have been threatening them for opposing their demands.
He said: "This very agreement was entered into and then a memo was made to Mr President as they claimed even though they gave us a copy later".
"This goes a long way to show that there was dishonesty, insincerity from the beginning on the part of the (health) ministry because most probably the minister is a doctor; minister of state is a doctor and minister of labour who is supposed to be the chief negotiator, is also a medical doctor".