. Cancels Residency Programme
The Federal Government has directed the Ministry of Health to suspend all residency training programmes for Doctors in Nigeria.
The move has been interpreted in some quarters to mean the outright sack of the more than 16,000 Resident Doctors in the country who have been on strike since July 1.
The directive was contained in an internal memo signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, L.N Awute on August 13 and sent to federal hospitals.
Awute’s statement reads inter alia: “Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR has suspended the Residency Training Programme for Doctors in Nigeria indefinitely for the purposes of appraising the challenges facing the sector”. While stating that the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has directed that “letters of termination of residency training” be issued to all affected resident doctors in hospitals immediately, the management of all public hospitals have been asked to take necessary measures to restore full medical services in the hospitals, even without the resident doctors.
In the statement, the Permanent Secretary advised that hopitals could employ part time doctors who must be of ‘good behaviour.’ The statement also read that “note however, this is without prejudice to the employment of Locum Physicians on six (6) months renewable contract tied to productivity and good behaviour,” with a caveat that “such recruitments must, however, be be approved by Mr. President through the Honourable Minister of Health.”