Ondo UNIMETH sacks striking doctors, suspends residency programme
• It is a joke that cannot stand ― ARD spokesman
The University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMETH) Ondo has suspended the residency training for resident doctors in the institution.
The suspension of the programmes was contained in a letter dated June 23 and signed by Director of Administration of UNIMETH, Adeeyo Babatunde, who said the programme was suspended to allow the hospital focused on service delivery in order to combat COVID-19 outbreak without the distraction of agitation from the resident doctors.
Babatunde said the suspension of the programme would commence from August 1st, 2020
He urged all resident doctors directly employed by the hospital to seek continuation of their programme in other institutions where there are ongoing training program.
The development came on the heel of the agitations from the resident doctors, who are demanding from the state government, the inclusion of provision of PPE and other security measures to save their members from COVID-19.
The sacking of the Resident doctors might not be unconnected to the last week’s strike action recently embarked upon by the doctors.
The resident doctors also called for the payment of outstanding arrears from September 2019 to May 2020, payment of 50 per cent COVID-19 allowance amongst others.
However, the management of the UNIMETH stated that some resident doctors might be considered for re-admission when the programme recommenced.
Speaking, the spokesperson of the Residents doctors, Dr Taiwo Olagbe, described the suspension of the programme as a joke that cannot hold any water and could crumble the health sector in the state.
Olagbe said comments from the CMD were regrettable and unfortunate saying that their agitations were genuine because of non-payment of salaries and arrears.
However, the state government, on Saturday, explained the rationale behind the suspension of the residency programme, calling on the public not to see the suspension of the programme as the sacking of medical doctors in the state.
A statement issued by the state commissioner for information and orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, said that government reaction became necessary because of the resultant political trailing the development.
Ojogo said the state government has been looking into the issues that led to the strike action by the
Resident doctors under the Residency Programme and the reprimand by the Management of UNIMED Teaching Hospital.
Ojogo said all the issues would be resolved by Monday, hopefully, and said “government wishes to urge the general public to be wary of those who have chosen to creep into an unavailable political space.
“This is a purely administrative and professional issue attracting a desirable attention and must not be politicised in any form”
He said “We wish to, therefore, emphasise that at no time did the state government sack Doctors as the public is being made to erroneously believe.
” It should be noted that the UNIMED Residency arrangement is the first since the establishment of the Nation’s premier medical University. It is mostly undertaken by the Federal Government as many states do not find financial space for such.
“Nonetheless, it is pertinent to clarify that there is a wide difference between doctors employed by the State Government and those under a Residency Programme.
“The Residency is a Post Graduate Programme usually sponsored by governments even as such beneficiaries render services for a specific period.
“In effect, doctors under the residency programme are more or less, temporary Staff members who qualify as consultants after their period of training.”