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Govt denies cancelling residency training for doctors


Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

THE Lagos State government has denied canceling residency training programme for doctors in the service of the state. The denial was a response to claims that the training programme, which has since been suspended in the last three years, has ultimately been canceled.

It would be recalled that the Babatunde Fashola-led administration stopped the intake of new resident doctors in 2011, in the wake of an industrial faceoff between the state government and the doctors.

Medical Guild in recent protest of outstanding arrears prior to the general elections had also raised concern on “canceled residency programme” and its attendant effect on available workforce in Lagos State University (LASUTH).

Responding, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said it was untrue that the state government stopped training doctors for the state-owned health facilities. In Idris’ words: “Let me disabuse your mind. The residency training programme has not been canceled; it is still ongoing. What we are doing is to review it, in a view to make it better,” he said.

On alleged shortfall in the number of doctors needed in LASUTH, Idris said efforts were ongoing to recruit needed hands in the Lagos health sector.

According to him, “LASUTH has given us a number of residents needed in the state. Apart from those that have graduated, the governor too has approved the recruitment of medical officers to cushion the effect temporarily while we consider the review.”

The commissioner did not, however, say if the recruited medical officers were regular staff or locum doctors. He said further that the state government had been able to resolve issue of outstanding arrears among other labour issues in the last one month.

While he agreed that “the state health workforce is working under tremendous stress”, he said the current government is working to address the issues.

“What we are saying is that you can make your case without necessarily disrupting our services, because at the end of the day, it is the citizens of Lagos State that will suffer. We will continue to work and dialogue, which something we have all agreed to do, to address these issues,” he said.

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