The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) yesterday called for the unconditional reinstatement of sacked resident doctors and the immediate withdrawal of the circular suspending residency training programme.
The President of the association, Dr Kayode Obembe, who made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to find a better way of resolving the disagreement between the government and medical doctors.
“The Nigeria Medical Association demands immediate withdrawal of the suspension circular and unconditional reinstatement of the so-called sacked resident doctors.
“Government should show commitment on her part in resolving the current impasse with the Nigeria Medical Association.
“By all means, any attempt by government to break her (NMA) ranks as an association, will be resisted.
“Rather than abolishing residency training programme, government should show more commitment toward improving the already poorly funded programme.
“Government should improve the nation’s health facilities with a view to discouraging medical tourism abroad.
“The Nigeria Medical Association believes that the current government’s stance will further worsen the present industrial disharmony in the country”, Obembe said.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on Thursday approved the sack of the striking resident doctors across federal medical institutions in Nigeria on the basis of the current challenges facing the health sector.
The approval came through a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, on behalf of the Health Minister to Chief Medical Directors and management of federal tertiary institutions.
It urged them to take all necessary actions to restore full medical services in their institutions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the resident doctors began the strike on July 1.
Obembe said government refusal to resolve issues with the association and allowing the strike to extend had affected the health of many Nigerians.
He also advised the government to ensure that all persons under surveillance for the Ebola virus infection did not travel outside their places of residence.
Also speaking, Dr Jibril Abdullahi, advised government to find a way to resolve the crisis, stressing that government should not use the Ebola virus challenge in the country to force doctors to resume work without meeting their demands. (NAN)