Members of the Lagos State chapter, Nigerian Medical Association, staged a protest at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi- Araba, on Monday.
They were protesting the sacking of 16, 000 resident doctors in the country by the Federal Government.
The doctors, who wore white lab coats, were seen carrying placards with inscriptions, such as: ‘Sack of 16,000 resident doctors, death sentence for Nigerians!’; ‘Sack Ebola, not doctors!’; ‘Sack Boko Haram, not doctors’; ‘Sack Chukwu, not doctors!’; ‘No to casualisation of doctor!’, among others.
The state Chairman of the association, Dr. Tope Ojo, who addressed journalists at LUTH, said that the sacking of resident doctors in all federal teaching hospitals in the country could lead to the collapse of the health sector.
Ojo noted that the NMA would not resume any negotiation with the Federal Government until the directive is unconditionally reversed.
He said, “The immediate reversal of the sacking of all the 16,000 resident doctors is the minimal demand for us to resume talks with the Federal Government.
“It is not acceptable to us and we will do all we can to defend our profession. They signed several agreements with the Academic Staff Union of Universities and did not fulfil them. That is what they are doing with us. They say they have met 90 per cent of our demands, but it is not true. We will not relent until we have put things in place in our hospitals.”
The doctors also called for the immediate removal of the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, whom they alleged to have misled the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan into taking the decision.
Ojo said, “We are aware that this is an attempt by the minister to casualise the doctor’s employment, as Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has done in Lagos State. We will resist it. The President has been given a wrong counsel. No nation can survive by throwing away its specialist doctors.”
Resident doctors are specialist doctors in training in teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government issued a directive on August 14, saying that residency training programme for doctors in its tertiary hospital be suspended.