The Federal Government has taken a swift decision to sack all the striking resident doctors, for “voluntarily withdrawing their services without authorisation.”
Already, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has directed the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Director (MDs) of Federal Government Tertiary Health institutions to replace them.
A statement from the Director, Media and Public Relations Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola, said the minister had directed the CMDs and the MDs of the institution “to fill the vacancies created by resident doctors, who have abandoned their training programme by refusing to report for work.”
The directive was contained in a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Amina Shamaki and sent to the CMDs and MDs of the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions.
The circular read: “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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Programme by refusing to report for training without authorisation.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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programmes in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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.
“Please, ensure immediate compliance.”
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.