Jonathan suspends resident doctors indefinitely
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday suspended resident doctors working in Federal Government hospitals.
The suspension came in the heat of the hoopla the few cases of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has caused.
A Federal Government circular on August 13 said the action was taken to address the challenges in the Health sector.
Since July 1, over 15,000 resident doctors had been on strike. They turned down all entreaties from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and other stakeholders to cooperate with the government in the fight against the Ebola virus.
An internal circular by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, L. N. Awute, said the suspension was with immediate effect.
It said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the residency training programme for doctors in Nigeria indefinitely for the purpose of appraising the challenges facing the Health sector.
“In line with the above, the Minister (of Health) has directed that you issue letters of termination of residency training appointment to the affected resident doctors in your hospitals immediately.
“The board of management is to take necessary measures to restore full medical services in your hospital. Note, however, that this is without prejudice to the employment of Locum Physicians (part-time doctor) on a six-month renewable contract tied to productivity and good behaviour.
“The appointments are to be approved by the President through the Minister of Health. Ensure immediate compliance.”
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Health, Isiaka Yusuf, said the resident doctors had been frustrating the government’s move to contain the Ebola virus.
The statement said NMA made good its threat of June 11, by calling out its members for a strike, despite government’s intervention meetings and dialogue.
The government said it had extensive deliberations with the leadership of the NMA, where agreements were reached on the 24 demands and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties.
It said in the midst of the strike, the government also sought the attention and intervention of some eminent personalities to prevail on the NMA leadership to respect the ethics of their profession and end the strike while the dialogue continued.