‘Why government sacked striking resident doctors’
•Orders immediate replacement
More reasons are emerging why the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, directed Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to fill the vacancies created by resident doctors who have “abandoned” their training programme by refusing to report for work.
The Guardian reliably gathered that the Minister of Health was angered by the attitude of the President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Mohammad Askira, who called for a nationwide strike despite ongoing talks with government.
It was learnt that Askira was rude to the minister and refused to listen to pleas from senior colleagues.
The directive to sack the resident doctors was contained in a circular dated 21st June, 2016, titled “Re: Residency Training Programme” and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Amina Shamaki, and sent to medical directors of hospitals.
The circular, which was made available to The Guardian noted: “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come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Programme by refusing to report for training without authorisation.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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programmes in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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,” the statement read in part.
Earlier, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had urged the doctors and other stakeholders in the health sector to demonstrate the spirit of leadership by focusing on how to come up with lasting solutions to the issues that precipitated the industrial action.