Lagos – Five days after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) suspended its strike, resident doctors in the Federal Government-owned hospitals in Lagos State have yet to resume work.
This followed the insistence of the Federal Government to sack the resident doctors in view of their roles in the NMA’s nationwide strike that lasted 55 days.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, had on August 13 announced the sacking of all resident doctors and stoppage of the residency training until further notice.
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Chukwu said the suspension of the residency programme would not be lifted until the conclusion of the ongoing appraisal of the challenges in the nation’s health sector.
Dr Omojowolo Olubunmi, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH-ARD) Chapter, said the doctors stayed away because of government’s refusal to reinstate the sacked doctors.
He said some resident doctors, who reported for duty were turned back on the orders of the Chief Medical Directors (CMD) of the respective hospitals.
“The CMDs claimed that they have yet to receive circular from the Federal Ministry of Health directing them to reverse the Federal Government’s sacking of the doctors,” Olubunmi said.
He said resident doctors constituted majority of all doctors in the country.
“Resident doctors constitute the majority; we are the backbone of the nation’s healthcare system.
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“In LUTH, we have about 500 resident doctors and that is about 30 per cent of all healthcare workers in the hospital.
“This has gravely affected services within the hospital because the consultants can only render skeletal services with the help of the house officers.
Olubunmi said residency training was pivotal to the existence and running of a teaching hospital.