The federal government has asked heads of federal government tertiary health institutions to fill the vacancies created by Resident Doctors who have abandoned their training programme in protest of what they called poor welfare.
The directive by Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, was contained in a circular by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry Amina Shamaki and addressed to Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the tertiary health institutions.
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come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization.
“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 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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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 healthcare delivery in your facility”.
However, Oluwole Atoyebi, Registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College, on Wednesday said the federal government has not sacked any doctor from Federal Tertiary Health Institutions in the country.
Atoyebi said following an intervention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, all the parties involved has agreed that the directive by the Health Minister be rested for now.
“No doctor has been sacked. While the resident doctors have been told to suspend the strike, the Ministry has been told by the Speaker to rest the directive for now, and that has been agreed by all parties,” he said.
The ministry of health said it is working with the panel on the review of the Residency Training Program in Nigeria, to fast-track the development of a comprehensive blueprint for postgraduate training of doctors in the country.
Activities at most teaching hospitals and federal medical centres were paralysed as a result of the doctors’ strike.