In the last few weeks tension has built between resident doctors in Nigeria, backed by the NARD, and the government. Resident doctors called for a nationwide strike after various attempts to negotiate with the government over their demands failed. According to the president of the NARD, Dr. Mohammed Askira, they demand changes in regard to their pay, injustice, enrollment of members into IPPIS, the lack of funding for residency training, victimization of members by managements of hospitals, among others.
On June 21st, a day after the strikes began, the federal minister of health, Isaac Adewole, passed an order for all striking residents to be sacked.
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come to the notice of the management of the ministry that some resident doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the residency training program by refusing to report for training without authorisation.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In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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.”
Tension is still building as the story unfolds.