Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Nigerian government sacks all medical doctors on strike

Resident doctors in Nigerian government hospitals embarked on a nationwide strike on Monday, asking for 7 months salaries debt to be paid.

That's quite a lot, really and many of them would probably have stayed back because of their passion for care but we all know that passion is not enough.

The minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has carried out his threat. At an event organised by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital LASUTH, celebrating the hospital's first kidney transplant, the minister has said that any doctor who went on strike would be fired.

Prof. 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 have “abandoned” their training programme.

According to Boade Akinola, spokesperson of the ministry, the directive was contained in a circular signed by Amina Shamaki, permanent secretary of the ministry.

The circular reads:

“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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training program by refusing to report for training without authorisation.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.

“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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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.”

Well, can we really blame the doctors who have bills to pay and families to maintain?

The government really needs to do something about the welfare of its medical professionals. This cannot happen in the western world where doctors are treated with dignity.