Akwa Ibom government has warned striking workers under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) that they will give account of every life lost during the period of the strike.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, made the position of the government known while talking to newsmen in Uyo on Thursday.
Ukpong said health workers in the state have no genuine reason to go on strike as the state government had paid all expected salaries and allowances due to them.
He directed all Matrons, Chief Nursing Officer, Senior Nurses and all Heads of Departments to take charge of patients in the hospitals across the state to avoid loss of life during the ongoing strike.
The Commissioner advised that the health workers should not always go on strike for their own benefit alone but should also think of improved infrastructure in the health sector.
“Every time health workers go on strike it takes a lot of lives. Matrons, Chief Nursing Officers, Senior Nurses, Heads of Laboratories and other Heads of Departments do not go on strike.
“If you go on strike and life is lost you will be held liable. There must be people in the hospital to save the lives of people,” Ukpong said.
He disclosed that the state government had acquired five ambulances as part of measures put in place to take care of emergency situation in the state.
The commissioner urged residents of Akwa Ibom to avail themselves of the ambulance services in case of emergency situation.
He also hinted that the ambulance services could be accessed free but the treatment would not be free.
On the report of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the commissioner advised health workers to have high degree suspicion index on every patient especially those outside the country to avoid falling victims.
Ukpong appealed to citizens to take their personal hygiene very seriously, wash their hands regularly and avoid eating bush meat for now.