Why We Sacked The 16,000 Resident Doctors – Health Minister

The Federal Government has defended its decision to sack 16,000 resident doctors across the country, saying the move was to allow the government appraise the training programme.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, while reacting to the sack at a press conference in Lagos, said there had been problems with the training which formed part of the reason why the doctors went on strike in the first place.

“The suspension is with all Federal Government hospitals; State Teaching Hospitals are not affected.

“The government suspended the training to allow for critical investigation and come up with better ways to improve the training,” he said.

On fears that that sacking the doctors at this crucial time, when the country battles to curb the spread of the Ebola virus, the minister alleged that the doctors had not been participating in the management of Ebola and they would therefore not be missed.

“We just felt that we needed the space, to take a look and make it better so that we can get the best from the programme. It is not a permanent thing; it is just to allow us to appraise. But of course if you close a programme in a university, you cannot keep the students idle. They either go for another course meanwhile or they wait indefinitely. After that, we will restart the programme.

“We keep forgetting that no doctor has been stopped from working. Some of them may want to volunteer for this Ebola response. If any of them volunteers I would recommend them to the President. That is my job as the Minister of Health.”

Meanwhile, the Secretary, Lagos Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Babajide Saheed, warned that the sacking of resident doctors would increase mortality and morbidity rates and worsen health indices in the country.

16 Comments

  • let them be sacked yes but stopping the programme will not decrease mortality and morbidity. if d government employed resident doctors have been sacked let d government employ other competent doctors. I see them as lazy drone, myopic and egocentric set of useless people thst have noyhing to offer prople. wonder why they would go on unnecessary strike. FG knew they were tired of their work and they were sacked. I want to commend the FG for doing that am sur it will be a lesson to others.

  • @dan and deborah…mostly deborah…u have spoken like an unintelligent person,who hasn’t seen the four walls of a tertiary institution,u are the one that is myopic here..it is individuals like u that make nigeria not governable…pls do more research abt who a resident doctor is…at least use ur goggle search..ur comment irritates me…rubbish…u praise the Govt for sacking resident doctors and clap ur hand wen there siphon money…please u need to be educated..thank you…

  • It is just unfortunate the kind of system we operate and the level of public enlightenment we have in this country. While I Å̶̷̩̥͡•̸Ϟ against the doctors for the strike, I hold the give responsible.
    This govt reached an agreement with those noble men last year and could not meet up pleading to start t̶̲̥̅̊ђε̲̣̣̣̥ implementation in January. Since then, govt has been playing hide and seek game till the doctors down tools. They are now using power to cow them back to work.

  • If any doctor is in dare need of residency training the person can go to any country, pay and do it there. It has been a scholarship here; govt pay their ”school fees”, provide all materials needed for training and also pay them well, they see govt as being stupid. Abusing a rare privilege. Other professionals even outside health sector deserves free training. Afterall when a doctor becomes a consultant govt still pays him/her heavily for the service, so when do you pay govt back for the resources spent on you during the free training? Countries that offer scholarship to her citizens have a way of getting them pay back when they start working to enable money revolve for others to be trained, but here students on free training are busy every day giving govt conditions even concerning the working conditions of other independent staff.

    • @tunji. you have to be well informed. The residency training program is for professionals who train and work for their pay. In LUTH for instance, there is a shortage of medical staff and it plays out on the doctors. The working conditions aren’t ideal, modern equipments need to be bought, and doctors of other countries are paid better. i think what should be done is that both parties should table their requests and complaints clearly and publicly, so it can be determined if their being rational or not. Otherwise, the public would continue to get the wrong notion about things.

  • Well the main function of the government is security and welfare. If the government is giving free training to the people it governs I don’t see any problem with that, although every nigerian deserves that but if it can’t go round then let’s rejoice with the privileged ones. After all we all benefit from their training. I think the best we can do is to find out what exactly they are striking for, it might be for our the good.

  • In short prof chukwu is saying those are enough excuses for nigerians not 2 enjoy good health services again. Its a foolish decision, senseless one indeed..

  • @ tunji et al nice one. @ onyeka i think you are as irrational as daft as possible. Look at the way u jus attacked dan without you thinkn very objectively… Look google search how other counties run programmes for resident doctors. Its not a bravado but the govt has tried. They pay doctors more than the facilities in the hospitals. And yet this doctors ill still complain. What about the other sector? Let us be reasonable for once abeg and stop bieng unreasonable…

  • Could you imagine that I was trying to take my sick Mum to FMC Hospital and the nurses I met there told me that the doctors are on strike and therefore that they will never attend to me,I wish they learn from this experience. For Onyeka, please try and visit any rehabilitation center around,I wish you a quick recovery.

  • Simply put,while doctors don’t claim to be special,it’s necessary to give them conducive environment to work. Sacking them is not needed to overhaul the residency program. The country stands to lose eventually.It’s a mindless decision which cannot stand the test of time.

  • i just read what prof onyebuchi said was the reason for sacking resident doctors and i wept.He went through this programme to become consultant and then prof. its unfortunate. i am sure that prof onyebuchi and those who are against NMA in govt have not been close to the isolation centre in lagos,if they were there,we want to see the video. He doesnt want to be affected. He is always on air, let those he gave verbal life assurance go and care for the ebola victims. this is how problems started in Education sector,today 70% of graduates cannot defend their certificates. Remember u can punish an employee but u cannott change his atitude.NMA should stand firm,let no govt official seek medical treatment abroad,let our hosp be equiped.it was not easy for Obama,martin luther king etc. this country must change. its a matter of time those who have vomitted things against doctors will swallow it. implementation of law,projects in nigeria is a serious issue and fight,NMA says implement, we are tired of paper work. ka chineke me zie okwu

  • For the last time, whoever says the government has done well by sacking the doctor is ignorant of the cause doctors are fighting for. Besides,he is also encouraging the corruption high ^ there..

  • If u are’nt in the setting u wuldnt understand wat dis drs are biting for.simply greedy and selfish even God detests it and dats Y they can’t succeed.pls its better u don’t comment if u dnt understand D situation.

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