The federal government of Nigeria has on Tuesday wielded the dismissal rod on all resident doctors under the auspices of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), who are currently on strike action.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola, the government directed heads of all federal health institutions to fill all the vacancies created by the strike embarked upon by NARD members.
The statement read: “The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has directed the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Director (MDs) of Federal Government Tertiary Health Institutions 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.”
Resident doctors in government hospitals had declared an indefinite strike on Monday to protest against government’s inability to address their demands bordering on their entitlements.
The circular reads:
“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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training program by refusing to report for training without authorisation.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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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.”