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‘Doctors’ residency training programme a ‘disaster’, says govt

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Nigeria's Minister of Health Isaac Folorunso Adewole attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RTX231AG

Nigeria’s Minister of Health Isaac Folorunso Adewole attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde – RTX231AG

• Commissions panel to restructure programme

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, yesterday said the nation’s residency programme through which the nation’s medical consultants are produced is current bastardised and a ‘disaster’.

The residency-training programme is a structure, institutional based competency training programme for doctors and dentists who have acquired Basic Medical/Dental Degree (MBBS/BDS) and on completion of training as Fellows of a Post-Graduate Medical College, are appointed consultants.

Adewole, who spoke when he inaugurated a Ministerial Committee on the Restructuring of the Residency Programme in Nigeria, highlighted the importance of the programme to the medicial profession and practice.

He said: “For some of us who went through this programme, we can confirm that what we have now is a disaster. It has been bastardised.

This is an important programme that should not be allowed to die”

The Minister also ruled out reviving the overseas residency programme, stressing rather, that some kind of exchange with leading specialist institutions abroad would be more tolerable, considering the nation’s financial situation.

“I am not sure we can have one year abroad as we sued to have. But we can do short time exchange programmes,”he stressed.

He chronicled previous efforts to restructure the programme, but noted that such efforts failed because they were commissioned at the height of industrial disharmony in the sector.

The Minister gave further reasons for the planned restructuring.

He said: “Over the years, the programme has witnessed several modifications to the extent that there is no uniform template being implemented by the various institutions.

“The non-uniform implementation has led to the disputes in the various training institutions and the local chapters of the resident doctors associations which has culminated into industrial disharmony. As a fallout of the above, there is lack of confidence in the Nigerian health system which has given rise to the penchant for medical tourism abroad.”

He went on: “To stem this tide and in a bid to holistically address the attendant problems, this administration has decided to appraise the existing programme in all ramifications with a view to institutionalizing an effective, efficient and sustainable residency training programme for the country.”

He charged the committee to appraise the report of the previous committee on residency programme submitted to the Minister of Health in April 2014 as it affects recruitment and career progression of resident doctors including the existing structure.”



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