About 14,000 resident doctors in tertiary hospitals who are on strike on Tuesday, June 21, reportedly lost their jobs as the federal government ordered a replacement of all involved in the strike action..
This move came after many botched negotiations between the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD,and the federal government over work condition, training and other welfare matters.
Minster of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Tuesday ordered that they should be replaced with others from the pool of applicants for the training programmes in the various disciplines.
Adewole issued the stern directive to Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Director (MDs) of Federal Government Tertiary Health Institutions to fill the vacancies created by the resident doctors who have abandoned their training programme by refusing to report for work.
According to a statement by Mrs.Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations, ministry of Health, the directive was contained in a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki and sent to the CMDs and MDs of the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions.
The Circular reads: “It has come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization. Public Service Rule, PSR 030402 (e) is relevant. This is in spite of the ongoing negotiations on their demands put forward by the representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association.”
“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the Doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training with attendant disruption of health care delivery in your facility.
“Meanwhile, the Ministry is working with the panel on the review of the Residency Training Program in Nigeria, led by Professor Wole Atoyebi, the Registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College, to fast-track the development of a comprehensive blueprint for postgraduate training of doctors in the country. “Please, ensure immediate compliance.
NARD President Dr Muhammad Askira, had explained that after critical analysis of issues affecting NARD at an “extra-ordinary National Executive Council, (NEC) meeting, the NEC observed that there were some processes still on-going in resolving the impasse between government and the doctors, and that the efforts so far made by government had not yet met the doctors’ demands.