The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health has ordered the immediate sack of striking resident doctors in the country.
The directive from the office of the Minister of Health, Dr Isaac Adewole, directed the chief medical directors and medical directors of all federal tertiary hospitals to fill the vacancies created by resident doctors who have absented themselves from work and abandoned their residency training programme.
The directive was contained in a circular signed by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Amina Shamaki, and dispatched to medical directors of all tertiary hospitals.
FG Sacks Resident Doctors For Absenteeism
The circular read thus:
“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come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization.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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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.”
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had declared a nationwide strike on May 11 but later postponed the action until June 9th when the strike action commenced fully.
This is not the first time the Federal Government is ordering the sack of resident doctors in the country who embarked on strike action, abandoning their duty posts.
A similar scenario had played out in the Goodluck Jonathan administration which saw the NARD demanding for the sack of the then minister for Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu who had ordered the sack of resident doctors who embarked on strike action.