Calabar - The Federal Government on Friday urged striking Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to call off their three-month-old strike in the interest of Nigerians.
The Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, made the appeal through Dr Thomas Agan, Chief Medical Director (CMD) at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), at a news conference in Calabar.
He said that the appeal became necessary following the ongoing negotiations between the federal government and JOHESU.
"Negotiations have been ongoing between the government and JOHESU executives since the beginning of the strike with a view to addressing all the issues at stake.
"This negotiation will continue even when the strike is called off,’’ he said.
The minister said that the Alhaji Yayale Ahmed-led Presidential Committee, set up to look into issues of disharmony and conflict in the health sector, had submitted its report.
According to him, another committee has been constituted to produce a white paper for appropriate implementation of the recommendations of the committee.
He said that the strike had caused unwarranted deaths in hospitals.
Alhassan also assured Nigerians that the government was doing everything possible to ensure the welfare of citizens.
"We also assure Nigerians that the provision of essential services are still continuing in all hospitals by doctors and other ad hoc staff,’’ the minster said.
The minister, however, commended doctors and other members of staff who had continued to render services despite the strike.