President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the suspension of the residency training for doctors in government hospitals across the country, citing the current challenges facing the health sector as the reason for the action.
The doctors’ residency is a post graduate training programme which enables them to specialise. The President’s action is Sen as a likely reached ion to the nationwide doctors’ strike which is in its second Month.
Doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, had embarked on a strike to press home their demand for an improvement in their welfare on July 1 and several attempts to resolve the issue have ended in a stalemate.
The government had earlier accused the doctors of neglecting their oath to protect lives and continue to turn down the request to suspend the strike, particularly during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus and the ongoing insurgency in some parts of the country.
In a letter signed on behalf of the health minister by a permanent secretary in the ministry of health, L. N. Awute, the president ordered that the action should take immediate effect.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the residency training programme for doctors in Nigeria indefinitely for the purposes of appraising the challenges facing the health sector,” read the letter.
“In line with the above, the Honourable Minister has directed that you issue letters of termination of Residency Training appointment to the affected Resident Doctors in your Hospital immediately.
“The Board of Management is to take all necessary measures to immediately restore full medical services in your hospital. Note however this is without prejudice to the employment of Locum Physicians on six months renewable contract tied to productivity and good behavior,” the letter read.