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FG sacks resident doctors again

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The Federal Government has ordered the sacking of striking resident doctors, 48 hours after they commenced an industrial action.

Doctors Protest
Doctors Protest

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, made this known on Tuesday, in a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry,  Amina Shamaki.

The minister in the circular also directed the chief medical directors and medical directors of all the government-owned tertiary health institutions to fill the vacancies occasioned by the sacking.

According to Adewole, the sacked doctors abandoned their training programme.

The doctors embarked on a strike on Monday.

In the circular, the minister also directed the Registrar, National Postgraduate Medical College, Ijanikin, Lagos, Prof. Wole Atoyebi, to head a panel that would review postgraduate training of doctors in the country.

Parts of 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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training programme by refusing to report for training without authorisation.

“This is in spite of the ongoing negotiations on their demands put forward by the representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctor 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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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. Please, ensure immediate compliance.”

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2014, had sacked 16,000 resident doctors for participating in a strike called by its national body.

The strike, which came on the heels of the Ebola outbreak in the country, lasted more than six months.

The Federal Government, however, recalled the sacked doctors two weeks after issuing the directive.

Meanwhile, the ARD President at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr. Akinwunmi  Afolabi, on Tuesday, said the association’s executive council members were in a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, over the latest directive.

But Afolabi’s counterpart at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Dr. Sebastian Owioh, told our correspondent that the branch had yet to receive any directive from the management of the hospital.

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