Industrial Action by Healthcare Workers in Nigeria in 2013 - 2015: An Inquiry into Causes, Consequences and Control. A Cross-sectional Descriptive Study.

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Title: Industrial Action by Healthcare Workers in Nigeria in 2013 - 2015: An Inquiry into Causes, Consequences and Control. A Cross-sectional Descriptive Study.
Authors: Oleribe, OO
Eziome, IP
Oladipo, O
Akinola, EP
Udofia, D
Osita-Oleribe, P
Taylor-Robinson, SD
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: © 2016 Oleribe et al.Background: Nigeria has suffered from several healthcare workers strikes in the past 36 months, involving all categories of health workers. Frequent healthcare workers strikes result in the closure of public healthcare institutions preventing Nigerians access to quality health services. The purpose of this study was to identify the root cause(s) of strikes by healthcare workers, their effects on the health system and possible solutions to prevent, or at least reduce, industrial action. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was used to execute this study between February and March 2015. A self-administered questionnaire with both closed- and open-ended questions was used for this study. Data were analysed using EpiData™ and SPSS 21. Simple frequencies and chi-square analysis were carried out. Results: A total of 150 healthcare workers participated in the study. Sixty-two (41.3 %) participants were males, 86 (57.3 %) married, 90 (60.0 %) Christians and 119 (79.3 %) graduates, and about half of the participants earn less than N129 000.00 (US$ 737.00) per month. Less than half of the participants (43.6 %) supported industrial actions. Poor healthcare leadership and management were cited as the most common (92 %), as well as the most important (43.3 %), cause of healthcare worker strikes in Nigeria. Other causes cited were a demand for higher salaries and wages (82 %), infrastructural issues (63.3 %) and inter-personal issues (61.3 %). Only 2.0 % rated current healthcare management as excellent, while 24.0 % rated it as very good. Several strategies were cited towards improving healthcare management. Conclusions: The findings of this study differ from previous studies that identified demand for increased salaries and wages as the most common cause of healthcare workers strikes in Nigeria. Identified causes of these continued strikes, especially inadequate healthcare leadership/management, must be tackled in order to eliminate industrial action by healthcare workers. Training doctors in health management and leadership towards building skilled physician leaders is a strategy that is long overdue in Nigeria.
Issue Date: 27-Jul-2016
Date of Acceptance: 19-Jul-2016
ISSN: 1478-4491
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: Human Resources for Health
Volume: 14
Copyright Statement: © 2016 Oleribe et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Sponsor/Funder: Association of Physicians of Great Britain & Ireland
Funder's Grant Number: N/A
Keywords: Health system
Healthcare worker
Industrial actions
healthcare worker
industrial actions
health system
Health Policy & Services
1110 Nursing
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 46
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Faculty of Medicine

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