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Nigerian Government Supends Residency Training

(THEWILL)14:08:2014 – President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday suspended the Residency Training Programme for medical doctors in Nigeria indefinitely and sacked Resident Doctors in all federal government owned institutions.
The President’s directive follows the protracted industrial dispute between doctors under the auspices of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and the federal government over pay and poor funding for government owned health institutions.
An internal memo to all heads of federal tertiary health institutions signed by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, L.N. Awute, on behalf of the Minister of Health, directed them to sack all Resident Doctors in their facilities with immediate effect and directed that measures be taken to restore full medical services in their hospitals.

A member of the board of the NMA has described the sack of resident doctors and the suspension of the Residency Programme as a knee jerk reaction to the dispute between the federal government and the NMA.
In a reaction to the development, the official who asked not to be identified in this report told THEWILL that an emergency session of delegates has been called by the NMA to deliberate on the development adding that a formal statement condemning the decision of the president will be issued momentarily.
The official said the President targeted the weakest link amongst doctors by going after thousands of the residents adding that with their sack those hospitals no long qualify as teaching or specialist hospitals because you cannot operate them without residents and consultants. “It is just like you cannot have a school when there are no students and teachers” the official said.
“We have been through this before at least twice. Government never learns. The action of the President is disappointing. Instead of addressing the serious issues we want dealt with the President is escalating the problem,” the official added.

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