Health workers demand CONHESS implementation in states

Professor Adewole: Nigeria’s minister of health

The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has called on governors of Anambra and Enugu States to implement the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) in their states.

Chief Ikechukwu Nwafor, the South-East National Vice President of MHWUN, made the call during the opening ceremony of South-East Zonal meeting of the union on Thursday in Awka.

Nwafor said that of the five South-East states of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra and Enugu, the two states were yet to fully implement the CONHESS.

“Implementation of CONHESS commenced at the federal level nine years ago, it is sad that Enugu State government has not commenced the implementation.

“Anambra pays a paltry 60 per cent to state health workers and 40 percent to council workers.

“MHWUN is giving Enugu and Anambra governments three months to resolve the CONHESS matter, as after the expiration of the period, members might be forced to embark on an industrial action.

“I urge the South East governors to look into the salaries paid to civil and public servants, as their take-home-pay, was nothing to write home about,’’ Nwafor said.

On the National Housing Fund deductions, he called on government at federal and state levels to critically look into the management of the fund, regretting that workers retire without access to their contributions.

In his remarks, the Anambra State Head of Service, Mr Harry Udu said that the state government was happy with the industrial harmony existing between it and its workers.

Represented by Mrs Carol Njaka, Permanent Secretary, Establishment and Pension Matters, Udu said that Gov. Willie Obiano would soon resolve issues concerning CONHESS.

Rev. Sr. Monique Okeke, the Director, Environmental Health/Pensions, Ministry of Environment, Anambra urged participants to be united in the course of their duties and in tackling labour-government issues.

In an address of welcome, Mrs Chinwe Orizu, the state Chairperson of MHWUN said that the event was a platform for members to articulate issues of common interest with a view to proffering solutions to them.

Orizu said health workers in Anambra were worried over issues of disparity in the payment of salaries of State and Local Government health workers and continued deduction of contributory pension from workers’ salaries against workers’ wish.

She said that the union would welcome the introduction of Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme by the state and called on the state government to review workers’ salaries and introduce other welfare packages to workers.

The zonal meeting was being attended by the leadership of the union in the five South-Eastern states of Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra.