This follows the intervention by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo who brokered peace, Monday at an enlarged meeting with the Union Leaders in Government House, Port Harcourt.
The laudable action was contained in a Press statement signed and issued by Paulinus Nsirim, Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, on Monday July 13th, 2015.
The statement also affirmed that the meeting had representatives of the State Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Primary Healthcare Sector, Primary Healthcare Workers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Rivers State Council and Ministry of Health Officials.
In a five point communiqué issued at the end of the peace meeting, the labour leaders thanked the State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike for convening the meeting to resolve the issues that led to the strike, the statement said, adding that, the communiqué regretted the hardships, pains and inconvenience suffered by the people of the state during the period of the strike and resolved to voluntarily suspend the strike with effect from Tuesday 14th July, 2015.
According to the communiqué, the Rivers State Government would look into the issues raised by the Unions with a view to addressing them in the interest of the people of the State.
The stakeholders also agreed that all parties would henceforth work together in the interest of Primary Healthcare Service Delivery.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor had lauded the Primary Healthcare Workers Union for accepting to call off the strike and urged them to drop their differences and see the interest of Rivers people as paramount.
“Rivers State Government appreciate the work you do but you must work together, I don’t expect the division among you because you are doing the same work that touches the lives of our people”, she declared.
The Deputy Governor expressed disappointment over the lack of synergy among the Primary Healthcare Management Board, the Health Workers and the Local Government Councils in the state, pointing out that the scenario was responsible for the prolonged strike that paralysed health care services at the rural areas.
Dr. Banigo said the Primary Healthcare Management Board performs an important function in the Healthcare Delivery Services but observed that the Board as presently constituted needs to be refocused to discharge its duties.
She noted the strategic role of Primary Healthcare Workers who reach out to the children at the rural communities, adding that the position of the state in the National Healthcare indices has dropped drastically as a result of the strike.
Also speaking, the Representative of the State Council of the Medical and Health Workers Union, Comrade Usende Gibson Levi, thanked the Primary Healthcare Workers for agreeing to suspend the prolonged strike which has caused untold hardship to the people of Rivers State.
In their separate speeches, the chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Primary Healthcare Sector, Rivers State Sector, Comrade Reuben Wecheonwu, and President, Primary Healthcare Workers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Daniel Atiemie, said the issues that led to the strike include the non-payment of consolidated workers’ salaries, promotion arrears and pensions among others, the statement concluded.