By G9ija

Public health workers in Abia State have issued the state government a 15-day ultimatum to settle their entitlements.

The workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Professionals (AHPA), warned Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to accede to their demands or risk industrial action.

They issued the ultimatum after their meeting in Umuahia yesterday.

In their letter notifying the governor of the proposed industrial action, the workers demanded payment of their salary arrears in the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Hospitals Management Board, Primary Healthcare Centres, and Abia State College of Health Technology.

They condemned the non-implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) in some establishments as well as Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) across the board.

The letter, signed by the state JOHESU Chairman, Okoro Ogbonna, and Secretary, Aligwe Chidi, also claimed that workers’ salaries were slashed in Primary Healthcare Centres by the state government without due process.

“It bleeds our heart that healthcare professionals who are risking their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic were left unpaid and also all due rights and privileges meant for them were not given, thus allowing them to wallow in abject poverty,” the group said.

“We hope that these pertinent issues affecting healthcare workers will be addressed within 15 days to avoid impending industrial action by the workers in the primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare.”