Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has directed Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and medical directors (MDs) of federal government tertiary health institutions to fill the vacancies created by resident doctors who are on strike, saying they have “abandoned” their training programme.
According to Boade Akinola, spokesperson of the ministry of Health, the directive is contained in a circular signed by Amina Shamaki, permanent secretary of the ministry.
“It has come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training program by refusing to report for training without authorisation. public service rule, PSR 030402 (e) is relevant,” the circular read.
“This is in spite of the ongoing negotiations on their demands put forward by the representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association.
“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training with attendant disruption of health care delivery in your facility.
“Meanwhile, the ministry is working with the panel on the review of the residency training programme in Nigeria, led by Professor Wole Atoyebi, the registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College, to fast-track the development of a comprehensive blueprint for postgraduate training of doctors in the country.
“Please, ensure immediate compliance,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has agreed to suspend its strike at a meeting with other health sector stakeholders on Tuesday.
The decision emanated from the meeting between resident doctors and other stakeholders, organised by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogàra in Abuja. The meeting will reconvene in three weeks to review progress made in the implementation of agreements reached in the meeting slated for July.