By Sabiu Abdullahi
The Nigerian healthcare system faces a severe blow as the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) will officially commence their indefinite nationwide strike today, in solidarity with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The strike, initiated to protest the removal of fuel subsidies and the government’s anti-labour policies, has left the nation’s hospitals in a state of uncertainty.
NANNM President Nnachi Michael Ekuma emphasised the necessity of the strike, citing the government’s failure to address issues crucial to healthcare workers, such as stagnant salaries, staff shortages, and subpar working conditions.
Ekuma’s letter to association members outlined the dire situation created by the removal of the fuel subsidy, leading to increased living costs for Nigerians without corresponding wage hikes for workers.
Despite the government’s attempt to mitigate the situation by deploying military personnel to hospitals and clinics, the adequacy of these measures remains uncertain.
Patients are advised to proactively liaise with their healthcare providers to determine the status of their appointments and procedures.
Where possible, rescheduling appointments after the strike concludes is recommended to minimise disruptions to their healthcare services.
The unity of the Nigerian labour movement underscores the depth of dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies, creating a challenging environment for negotiations and resolution.