FG sacks striking resident doctors
… as ARD suspends strike
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, yesterday announced the sack of resident doctors in tertiary health institutions all over the country, less than 48 hours after the doctors commenced another round of strike over non-payment of salaries in some states and some unpaid allowances.
But the doctors in a swift reaction earlier today suspended the strike after meeting with the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogàra and some other stakeholders in Abuja.
In a statement by the Director of Media and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Boade Akinola, the minister, through a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Amina Shamaki, directed the chief medical directors and medical directors of all the government-owned tertiary health institutions to fill the vacancies occasioned by the sack.
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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training program by refusing to report for training without authorisation. 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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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 programme 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.”
Meanwhile, leaders of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) has appealed to their members to suspend the strike until the next meeting scheduled for July 14. The meeting will reconvene to review progress made in the implementation of agreements reached in today’s meeting.
The meeting was also attended by the health minister, representatives of the NMA, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment at the meeting.