SHOCKING: Jonathan sacks 16,000 resident doctors in Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigerian doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on July 1.

The President, Goodluck Jonathan, has ordered the sack of all resident doctors in Nigerian hospitals.

The sack was contained in a directive by Mr. Jonathan to the Federal Ministry of Health to suspend all residency training programme for Nigerian doctors.

The directive was stated in an internal memo dated August 13 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, L.N. Awute, to federal hospitals.

Mr. Awute said the president’s directive was given following an appraisal of the challenges facing the health sector.

“Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR has suspended the Residency Training Programme for Doctors in Nigeria indefinitely for the purposes of appraising the challenges facing the health sector,” Mr. Awute said.

He said the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has also directed that “letters of termination of residency training” be issued to all affected resident doctors in hospitals immediately.

The memo asked the management of all public hospitals to take necessary measures to restore full medical services in the hospitals, even without the resident doctors.

In what appears to show the reason for government’s action, the permanent secretary said the hospital could employ part time doctors who must be of ‘good behaviour.’

“Note however, this is without prejudice to the employment of Locum Physicians on six (6) months renewable contract tied to productivity and good behaviour,” Mr. Awute said.

Such recruitments must, however, be “be approved by Mr. President through the Honourable Minister of Health.”

Doctors react

In his reaction, the President, National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Jubril Abdullahi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the president’s directive is illegal.

He said the decision shows that Mr. Jonathan yielded to the demand of the Joint Health Workers Union, JOHESU.

“The action of Mr. President is illegal because there are several Acts that recognize Residencies in Nigeria and his action speaks volume of the government’s decision to follow the dictates of the Joint Health Workers Union. This is one of the issues the union is asking for.

“Whatever the government have done in their reaction to the NMA’s strike means they are not ready for dialogue because while we are engaging them, they have resorted to this,” Mr. Abdullahi said, saying members of his association nationwide were about 16,000.

A resident doctor, who spoke on anonymity to avoid persecution, condemned the decision saying he was now officially unemployed.

The doctor, a staff of a teaching hospital, said a colleague of his had just sent him another circular ordering all resident doctors to surrender hospital property in their possession.

The circular, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, said the doctor’s salaries and allowances for one month has been paid in lieu of the notice as they ordinarily are not entitled to any salaries for the period they have been on strike.

“In compliance with this order, I am to regrettably inform you that your appointment in this hospital is hereby terminated forthwith,” the letter issued residents doctors in a teaching hospital in the South South region of Nigeria stated.

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, of which the resident doctors are members, has been on strike since July 1.

One of the demands of the NMA was that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health should formalize and implement the report of the inter-agency committee on residency training.

The NMA also asked the FG to release a uniform template on the appointment of resident doctors and a funding framework for residency training established while overseas clinical attachment be fully restored and properly funded.

Resident doctors are doctors being trained to become specialists/ consultants in different fields of medicine. During their 4 to 5 years training to become consultants, they work in different government hospitals and make up the majority of doctors in teaching hospitals.

“Let’s see how this will work. Except they want to kill the teaching hospitals and the health sector in general,” another resident doctor told PREMIUM TIMES.

He explained that he believed the incessant strike by resident doctors and the NMA was what influenced the government’s decision but doubted that it would be effective.

“In our own teaching hospital, about 90 per cent of the doctors are resident doctors, there are few medical officers. So how can you sack 90 per cent of doctors in a hospital?” he asked rhetorically.

Presidential Directives Suspending Residency Programme in Nigeria
Presidential Directives Suspending Residency Programme in Nigeria


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  • tsunami1earthquake

    I now see that the hidden reason for the doctors’ strike is their sense of indispensability. Nobody, repeat, nobody is indispensable. I support the president on this.

    • La

      Its a pity that so many Nigerians are ignorant judging by some of the comments on this thread.
      First are we in military dictatorship that someone will make such a pronouncement?
      Secondly, residency training goes beyond just treating patients and employing doctors. It is a postgraduate training. Its just like cancelling all postgraduate programmes in Nigerian universities.
      At the end of the day, most of the doctors will find their way to where they are appreciated and the health sector will crumble forever.
      A word is enough…

      • Ashibogu

        Make them go Liberia, Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone. Gaskiya, dem go get automatic employment. They need them so badly! Why can’t they do work to rule. It is more effective than total strike. They do it here in the United Kingdom. You go to work as a worker but only attend to emergency cases. Rather, they sit at home and collect salaries and allowances. Who is okay in Nigeria? If everyone decides to sit at home who will work to produce the money that they will use to pay them? It is what I call the tyranny of the working class in Nigeria. They take 80% of the national budget and leave the remainder 20% for 167m Nigerians. Let them go. God will help us just as he has been helping us. That they have not gone to work for 6 weeks and we are still alive means they are not indispensable. Make I go drink my sleepy tea jare!

        • La

          You are further confirming your ignorance, how many Nigerians are
          gainfully employed that they take 80% of the budget? There’s no point in
          engaging you in any meaningful discussion. I rest my case

          • Chibuzor Alozie

            Articulate Your point and stop been on the defensive by calling People ignorant

          • speakthetruth

            One thing I know for sure is that God is the only indispensable being. It is purely irrational for humans to make themselves higher than their creator by taking God’ s glory to themselves. In as much as loss of job is painful, the doctors should. Know that what makes them very important is their care, sympathy and empathy, in other words, attending to the health needs of the people. Abandoning patients to die simply shows that human lives which they vowed to save is being not valued. In all, it is still God that heals while the doctors care. It is high time people feared God and know that if a doctor is used to save a life, it is to God’s glory and not the doctor’s glory. I pray that government would rescind this decision in any case.

          • redeem

            Name the year Nigeria enjoyed full employment for her citizens——–Was it after the civil war——–?———-u relax in the comforts of yr states–doing nothing to create jobs for your citizens —-than arrange to have yr military leaders establish 40 local government councils for u-to play around with——-all u have been doing since the British left in 1960——-is to wait for the awooooof oil revenue——use them to acquire blood chip firms–ati oil blocks—–then push your people to contest election into the house of rep–and the senate—–Then work to kill all the textile firms—–that u cannot manage——-in yr zone-s——only for u to come back begging for more money for yr LGAs and d firms we helped u establish 4 u-the fault is not in Jonathan-its in you and yr awooof loving dependents–let each state hire own doctors-

      • tsunami1earthquake

        I shall have to disappoint you here. The doctors lost it from the time they parted way with their Union President, Dr. Obembe. The latter exercised rare equanimity and maturity to call off the strike in the wake of the growing and threatening Ebola crisis but the doctors said ‘No’! That was when the doctors inadvertently pitched battle against the nation and its citizens. Nobody, no matter how highly placed, can grow above his/her nation. No, never! In summary, these doctors were unpatriotic, unfeeling and have even rubbished the Hippocratic Oath they swore to. Yes, they could migrate to other nations, if they have not done so already, and become medical assistants, paramedics or glorified nurses, if that is what they want. I wish them all the luck.

        • La

          You are making a great mistake and displaying ignorance. Was it Nigerian medical doctors that were careless and allowed Ebola to be imported into the country?
          When the other health workers were saying doctors were useless, why didn’t they tackle Ebola when it was time to display their expertise?
          At least those working as paramedics and nurses abroad know their roles and have dignity. They dont have to shout or compete with doctors to make their relevance known.
          If USA and UK had cancelled residency training programs in their countries, where will our leader go to for treatment?
          Open your eyes and be objective.

      • redeem

        Was Nigerian in a military DICTATORSHIP b4 Tinubu gave similar directives to Fashola when the resident doctors went on strike in Lagos? when Tinubu ati Fashola ordered Doctors to vacate their residence—sadly we have a Fulani as the President, of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Jubril Abdullahi –No wonder the doctors decided to align with the views of the janjaweeds in APC——-the lecturers who went on strike were alos led by another fulani-As for me I have been saying for years now–we are wasting time with each–the entire talk boils down to one thing–awoooooooooof oil revenue——————that is why the Fulani North would not allow us have resource control————–fiscal federalism-yet they want 5% of my oil revenue to be allocated to the fulanui north–because of boko haram- —the SS took up armas to fight for resource control—we did not embark of the project of fiscal federalism and the abrogation of the land use decree via the Bible–neither did we cut the throats of Nigerian men and women ati school kids- to dirve home our demands for oil blocks———

  • Hmmm…Well, I know this decision will be rescinded by government in the coming days when the news would have filtered in. Then government will tell us,”following the outcry of well meaning members of the public and in the interest of the citizens,government has decided to rescind its earlier decision to sack all resident doctors.” Just watch!

    • Ashibogu

      Na shakara! Pure and simple. When hunger hammer the doctors, they will enlist Emir of Zaria, Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Emir of Gwoza, don’t ask me which one, on a begging mission to Aso Rock.

      • redeem

        U forgot the sultan of sokoto ati the emir of kano——–animals

        • Shehu


  • UnderG

    He should also sack his entire administration for ineptitude in all sectors (electricity, telephone-agriculture, poor banking reforms, re-introducing ATM charges, missing funds, using persons of interest to channel his political ambitions, poor infrastructural facilities, re-basing the economy and calling it the biggest in Africa when we use generator 24/7 for our businesses, 200+ missing and unaccounted for, insecurity, Ebola, etc). Finally, resign as the sole administrator… My opinion.

    • Ashibogu

      Zenith Bank has the highest number of bank branches so they will benefit hugely from the reintroduced charges on ATM withdrawals. Why won’t they reinstate the charge abolished by Sanusi when Zenith Bank Management is in charge of CBN. Nigerians ain’t seen anything yet!

      • redeem

        happily he is yet to sprayx money to Mosques and fulani leaders-and award contracts to buhari the way sanusi did

        • Easy

          So Nigerians what are going to call the reintroduction of charges on ATM withdrawals? Do we call it “financial recklessness” or what? Can some experts on finance help my fellow Nigerians out and explain?

    • DanielOsazuwa

      The clueless one has exposed his crass incompetence once again. Ebola is ravaging the country: the ogogoro man is sacking RD.

      May God forgive those that voted for this man that belch ineptitude regularly.

      • redeem

        tinubu did not show his when he asked fashola to use the police to evacuate all the resident doctors-in lagos abi

    • redeem

      did fashola ati tinubu sack all his commissioners and advisers–when doctors went on strike in lagos

  • Fanijar

    This is what you get when you hand over a sensitive and high office like the presidency to a mediocre who was unprepared for the challenge

    • redeem

      Lagos was not handed over to a mediocre–abi when they directed doctors to pack out of their quarters



    • redeem

      u will soon give a damn–when the SS finally secedes——–then u will know khakai no be leather ——thief

      • Shehu


  • Omobola Temidayo

    I support the President 100 % on this, it’s about time doctors like others work for thier pay. Afterall, the so called resident doctors all have private practice and are rarely committed to thier job.I

    • Naija Dokita

      @Omobola. Sadly my dear you have no clue about the rules and the rigours of the residency training. there’s no time to set up a private practice. Who do you think you meet when you go to the teaching hospital for care?

      • Funto Ayenakin

        No Clue.MOs can even own PPs,Resident doctors can’t.You are simply reading your head off and working your ass off like a servant.Sad people still have no clue.

      • Efe1

        My friend don’t strain yourself to explain to people who are so blinded by poor education and long suffering. The president will be in Germany for check up soon, and the people commenting here will be going to see native doctor.

        • redeem

          were Nigerians not dealing with native doctors b4 we got our freedom from the British———–b4 the amalgamation nko–in 1914

          • Chinwe

            Pls ask them O as if they are better than native doctors. They say we no go school, na them go becos they read medicine as if others cannot read it. It’s just a choice.

          • La

            It seems Chinwe has a personal beef for doctors. Swear that you were not a medical-school reject.
            We know your type.

    • La

      Its a pity that so many Nigerians are ignorant judging by some of the comments on this thread.
      First are we in military dictatorship that someone will make such a pronouncement?
      residency training goes beyond just treating patients and employing
      doctors. It is a postgraduate training. Its just like cancelling all
      postgraduate programmes in Nigerian universities.
      At the end of the
      day, most of the doctors will find their way to where they are
      appreciated and the health sector will crumble forever.
      A word is enough…

      • Alozie Chibuzor

        And yet the resident doctors always have time for strike. haven’t day?

      • redeem

        The raging cold war between the resident doctors in Lagos and the state government OVER salary adjustment further nosedived yesterday as the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola to immediately sack all the aggrieved doctors and hire new ones.

        Tinubu, who was a former governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 declared that the state government was not ready to come to terms with the aggrieved doctors saying it was not compulsory for them to be members of the state civil service.

        Tinubu, who spoke at a stakeholders meeting with Christian representatives from various churches across the state at Lagos State government meeting with religious leaders held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, averred that the striking medical doctors who remained adamant to all pleas made by the government should resign from Lagos State employment or be sacked.

        According to him, “the strike by the doctors is more political than actual protest about salary. We discovered that the said former chairman of the Medical Guild, Lagos State chapter, Dr. Ibrahim Olaifa whom they want government to reinstate is now a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for House of Representatives in Oyo State.

      • Chinwe

        What have they been doing here all along let them kukuma go where they are appreciated. Good riddance, Doctors have held the Nigerian Health System hostage with their selfish interest. In other climes you want to go and practice, their Doctors are not this selfish as Nigerian Doctors. Everyrhing in the health sector for you alone, habaaaaaaaa.

  • Naija Dokita

    Thank you Mr. President for giving me a reason to avoid work in this critical period of Ebola outbreak. Nothing has been put in place to secure and equip Nigerian doctors to tackle Ebola except for a N5,000 hazard allowance. Lets see which doctor will willingly sign up for a locum position in a sector that puts his life at risk.

    • Big joe

      ur comforting urself my dear.

    • Toke Franklin

      Excuse me Mr. you are supposed to be saving a life this critical time free of charge as a patriotic Nigerian, Must you be paid to safe guard the life of Nigerian citizens? have you heard the word volunteer? would you infected while wearing full safety apparatus?

      • Efe1

        Let’s the president show that patriotism first by patronising Nigerian doctors in Nigeria.

      • Beauty

        u can volunteer also by coming in to clean the vomit of the patients u dont need any skill to do that.

    • cookie

      i take it that you are currently unemployed then? lool

      • Efe1

        What is the point of a job that may or certainly kill you because the FG is not willing to care for its workers. They can afford to fly to Germany to get treatment so why should the FG care abou semi humans like you.

  • UYI111

    U have my absolute support

  • Maria

    Fisherman cum zoologist in charge of the zoo… This man is the biggest mistake to ever happen to Nigeria !

    • cookie

      lol… are u married? you are the biggest mistake to that poor guy

    • Ogbonna

      And you are the ANIMAL IN THE ZOO.
      That is why you people are behaving like wild animals.

  • Ayinde

    I detest this attitude of most of those commenting and abusing the person and office of the President. Please enough of this.
    On the Doctors Sack i see it as a welcome development, sincerely the Doctor in Nigeria need be told enough is enough. nobody person or group is indispensable. On the simplest of all issue as positioning which bothers on ego, they declare a strike action. What makes them better than the Tanker Drivers who at the slightest disagreement go on strike to hold the Nation to ransom. No JOB or ROLE is least important. Even the cleaner on the street is equally important. We all make up a complete system by performing our role and functions effectively.
    On Commentators that want to bring politics into this, recollect Fashola gave a similar treatment to the Doctors in lagos, i bet you they have been put into their proper position
    God bless Mr President, well done GEJ.

    • Maria

      “…nobody person or group is indispensable.” Yes ooo…. including the clueless president… no one is indispensable.

      • Wähala

        Doctors are indispensable, stop displaying your ignorance in public. Fooool!

    • Sandi

      God bless Goodluck??? The man who lacks the most basic of social etiquette, such as removing his hat when he enters a building??? What a joke.

  • Okache

    Another very wrong move by Mr. President taken perhaps under the influence of …. Just like the reversal of the name-change of Unilag, I know Mr. President, when he is sober, he will be very shock he took this decision. But again. I expect resident doctors to suspend their strike in light of the huge medical challenge facing the country. But all is well.

    • paul preston

      you are writing under the influrence of illiteracy that is the case of an educated illiterate.Let them go on perpetual strike or let them open their own hospital and then go on strike and get paid when they return.This is what the Fg should do to all strike loving unions

      • Okache

        I won’t trade words with you, my fellow country man. Mr. President has a history, almost a pattern of reversal of national decisions taken under the inspiration of …. But lets put that aside, I do not know if you work for the federal or state government, these unions come handy in safeguarding the interest of the workers. Just like I stated above, I believe they should have suspended the strike in light of the Ebola epidermic. What I expect Mr. President to have done is not to as the parlance goes “add salt to injury” but to look for a way to get them back to work or do you think that will be difficult for him? The problem with Mr. President’s decision at times is that probably he does not chew the issues and mashed it thoroughly before spewing it out. I stand to be corrected, his history is my defense.

        • paul preston

          the Unilag issue was polticised by the Lagos crowd,the strike issue is a selfish very selfish decision,a govt must listen to her citizens some apc govs who raised scholl fees to astronmical rates have rverse themselves even though for political reasons but they listen to people so why would the president not do same if that is the wishes of nigerians?

  • paul preston

    this decision maynot stand but it is a good signal that actually govt can bite,the reason for this strike is at best puerile,this country must move forward their colleagues in the diaspora held a symposium where they roundly condemned their nigerian countepart for embarking on ego trip

    • Okache

      Hmmmm. I just do not want any one of those quarantined to die. We must pray for them, the country, those in other affected African countries (because it can come again to the country) and of course ourselves. I will leave it there. It is well.

    • La

      What are the colleagues doing in diaspora? Its very easy to condemn. Let them come home now that there are 16000 vacancies.

      • paul preston

        you are missing trhe point,our Doctors should not go on strike at any slight of provocation strike in Nigeria has become an instrument of blackmail,if the FG oblige their request,do you imagine what other health workers will do?

        • Ogbonna

          They do not think of such.
          They do not even know why they are doctors. What is in the brain of most of them is “LET ME GO AND READ MEDICINE, WHEN I COME OUT, I WILL BE ADDRESSED AS A DOCTOR AND WILL BE PAID HANDSOMELY” They did not go there with the thought of the masses.
          They have been away for the over a month now without thinking of the masses. A lot of people have died due to their absence. Other people that are aware that they are not there, no more go there rather look for an alternative which God has been helping out.
          They have been sacked now and they are shouting what about the masses whom they did not even remember when going on that STRIKE.

  • Truthometer

    Dumbo will always be dumb, no matter what! Even if Ebola epidemic is ravaging the whole country, it is always the best time to sack the whole medical doctors. This is an opportunity for him and his co-corrupt politicians in PDP, to bring in the incompetent, half-baked and clueless quack doctors from otuoke and wherever. What a country? You haven’t seen brain-drain yet, countrymen!

    • Ayinde

      What value have these group added in the event of the outbreak, after all its been a month they have been on “break”. Despite the epidemic did they show patriotism by calling off the “break or strike”

  • Sopulu

    Of what use are Nigerian doctors and their cash and carry medical care?

    • Beauty

      Have u ever gone to hospital to be treated by a doctor?

      • Sopulu

        Yes. Treated by a doctor like a cash machine while offering nothing that resembled “care.”

  • Dr Patrick Kolawole Awosan

    President Ebele Jonathan is truly an ineptitude,clueless,inexperienced,ineffective and incompetent president of Nigeria who brings load of shame and disgrace to the door-steps of all Nigerian people regardless of ethnic/tribal/religion.
    How can a non-performing president Jonathan who has attained outright F-9 score-card in all facets of pro-people governance order for the sack of all striking medical doctors in our public hospitals?
    If it is drinking ogogoro-local-dry-gin,he is smart,looting and embezzlement of our national commonwealth,he is number one and covering for corrupt-ridden and indicted petroleum minister,Mrs Alison Madueke,who stole N10 billion naira public funds to pay for rental of a private jet for two years,it is damn Ebele Jonathan.Dumbo will remain dumbo for ever.,

    • KJBmajesty

      cant you jst commend this effort by GEJ? there is a medical emmergency in the land and the quack Doctors are comfortable in their houses. it not all about abusing the president. i think it is the right step in the right direction. already adverts are on for the recruitment exercise.

      • babs

        Did you care to ask yourself why they are on strike before you comment?

      • La

        We will see who are the real quacks now. A lot of people just talk without facts. Ignorant lot

  • easy

    The problem with doctors is that they do not know what they signed up for. Its not how much you have as a doctor that gives you fufilment rather how many lives you have saved. Why Nigerian doctors have to strike to show their importance is what i do not understand. Its time we banish that idea in the sciences that asides medicine all other fields of study are useless for crying out loud medicine is an application science. They apply what clinical scientists have discovered and tested

    • La

      Do our leaders know or respect the oath of office they took? Its very easy to blame doctors. How many Nigerians are effective in their duties? That’s why we are where we are as a nation today.

      • Nigerian

        The mumu president is the most notorious one who does not respect oath of office.

  • TruthMC

    “Let’s see how this will work. Except they want to kill the teaching hospitals and the health sector in general,” another resident doctor told PREMIUM TIMES. -: By their incessant strikes, they showed GEJ that the system could do without them. The Resident Doctors (quacks all of them) killed the system and not GEJ. In fact, it is immoral, wicked and inhuman for Doctors to go on strike. it should be declared illegal. for every time they do scores of people die. Their strike should be considered a crime against humanity and they should be persecuted, locked up and the key thrown away. send all of them to Syria,Iraq and Gaza. Unpatriotic cowards, all of them, at the time their country needs them most they refuse to offer up their services.

    • La

      You are deceiving yourself. By the way, patriotic Nigerian, let’s see how the health sector will cope. The truth of the matter is that many people including yourself are ignorant and biased against doctors unnecessarily. You have refused to look objectively at issues because you see doctors as inhuman. Anyway, let’s see who loses. If countries like USA and UK had cancelled residency training in the past, where will our leaders run to for medical care?

    • Anonymous

      See imbecilic reasoning!!!!! Doctors should not go on strike ? They should work without pay, allow their families to go hungry and face Ebola without PPE? Because they are Robots or UFOs? Go and kiss transformer!!!!! Na U
      pay for their medical training! Mtschewww!!!!!

  • Factual

    My fellow Nigerians, you are wasting your time commenting for or against the decision taken by Jona. We are crying about EBOLA but you forget that the real EBOLA is the president himself. Can’t you see that this president is more dangerous and deadly than EBOLA. EBELE means EBOLA. NIGERIANS BEWARE OF EBELE!

    • Biggie

      I am tell una Jona want everybody to die in Nigeria. 1st na boko haram, 2nd na striking polytechnics, 3rd ebola and doctors sacks. than who cures who. ogogoro man go kill us ooo

  • redeem

    The raging cold war between the resident doctors in Lagos and the state government OVER salary adjustment further nosedived yesterday as the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola to immediately sack all the aggrieved doctors and hire new ones.

    Tinubu, who was a former governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 declared that the state government was not ready to come to terms with the aggrieved doctors saying it was not compulsory for them to be members of the state civil service.

    Tinubu, who spoke at a stakeholders meeting with Christian representatives from various churches across the state at Lagos State government meeting with religious leaders held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, averred that the striking medical doctors who remained adamant to all pleas made by the government should resign from Lagos State employment or be sacked.

    According to him, “the strike by the doctors is more political than actual protest about salary. We discovered that the said former chairman of the Medical Guild, Lagos State chapter, Dr. Ibrahim Olaifa whom they want government to reinstate is now a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for House of Representatives in Oyo State.———————–this statement was not by a mumu or a clueless dumbo abi———animals

  • Sendband

    Don’t worry, ex-militants will be sent to hospitals to redeem the patients

  • Chinwe


    It appears you and the Minister of Health now shares similar view on the strike by the NMA which the Minister also condemns.

    It depends on what individuals decide to
    see. It is a matter of perception, but at any rate we must tolerate
    libertinism of ideas. In an attempt to appreciate the various issues, it
    will always be necessary to evaluate how we got to this stress
    junction. The first fundamental issue to appraise is whether it is
    legitimate for Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to contemplate a strike
    and go-ahead to negotiate the conditions of service of doctors. The
    answer is no, and so logically you need to find out from government why
    it has refused to act as government. This is not farfetched, every level
    of senior government official deals with these guys as sacred cows who
    must be treated with kid gloves.

    The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi
    Chukwu did say they have successfully handled 23 out of the 24
    commandments of the NMA including coming up with two different MoUs and
    enabling circulars. Do recall some of those demands, about 80 per cent,
    bothers on clinical governance in that it relates directly with the
    welfare and destiny of my members and of course the cognoscenti of
    other health workers.

    Nigerian doctors have among other issues
    that amount to outright absurdity and irrational logic demanded that
    government should not appoint health professionals other than doctors as
    consultants in their professions. Also, they say that health
    professionals and workers must not get to the apogee in public service
    even if relevant schemes of service dictate so, government must continue
    to appoint only doctors as CEOs of hospitals even in the face of
    obvious systemic failure; that government must continue to appoint
    doctors as Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (Dep-CMACs) even when
    there is no law that backs

    such appointments through the relevant
    enabling Act of Parliament. Government must through fiat appoint a
    Surgeon-General notwithstanding the reality of a constitutional
    imperative towards same because they are used to a dispensation in the
    dark days of military dictatorship when their godfathers imposed all
    sorts of balderdash that we are still grappling with and then the
    garbage stuff of an enduring relativity advantage in pay which must be
    documented through circulars.

    Even when you insinuate that there
    appears to be a crack in Prof. Chukwu/NMA relations, I won’t be deceived
    because all that is on display is a duplicitous politics of expediency.
    In a recent media interview, the Minister of Health found it necessary
    to share with the world how skipping became part of our lexicon in the
    Health Sector by giving the impression that it was an unlawful concept
    or privilege granted some health professionals. This is far from the
    truth because Nigerian doctors are the biggest beneficiaries of skipping
    in the public service. You try to find out what the norm was up to
    about 1992 when the Medical Salary Scale was introduced.

    Pharmacists and doctors were on GL 08
    during internship/housemanship after graduation and proceeded to GL 09
    after NYSC. That was the system I passed through as a young practitioner
    in the eighties. Today a house doctor starts on GL 10 and moves to GL
    12 after youth service. If you are conversant with Public Service Rules
    (PSR) it takes an average of three years for anybody to move from one GL
    to another. It will, therefore, take any average university graduate
    who starts on GL08 after NYSC at least 10 years to get to GL 12 where a
    doctor takes off after NYSC. So what other relativity supercedes that

    type of advantage? A serious medical
    doctor who passes his consultancy exams in five years would certainly
    make GL 17 which is the peak in public service well under 10 years after
    youth service, while it takes other university graduates over 30 years
    to achieve same. Through luciferian energy, the NMA and its appendages
    continue to plot to suppress citizens of Nigeria like some conquered
    species with overwhelming support of state machinery.

    The Federal Ministry of Health is the
    catalyst for the many years of recklessness in our sector through its
    biased personnel who have reduced it to a ministry of doctors. Can you
    imagine Prof. Chukwu publicly declaring that his Federal Ministry of
    Health is challenging the NICN judgment on skipping of CONHESS 10 in the
    Appeal Court? We have also joined issues with them at the Supreme Court
    because it was surprising that the Appeal Court granted a relief to the
    Federal Ministry of Health to challenge a National Industrial Court of
    Nigeria (NICN) judgment. It was unprecedented in labour struggles.

    There is a particular official of the
    legal department of the FMOH that I had course to challenge openly at
    one of our numerous consultations with the FMOH. She has never disguised
    her bias against professional ranks outside medicine from the first
    time I met her at a Public Hearing at the Senate about 10 years ago.
    These are legal experts who dictate the pace in the FMOH.

    The same dramatis personae once told us
    at another parley that the FMOH would sustain the relief declaration at
    the Appeal Court, but we shall push this through at whatever cost
    through legitimate means. Does it mean anything to you and indeed
    Nigerians who observe this scenario, that the Federal Government
    negotiates and placates an unlawful template in labour statutes (NMA),
    while its activity spends tax payers’ funds to engage legitimate Health
    Sector Unions (JOHESU) whenever they obtain court judgment against NMA,
    MDCAN and the other medical interests? As long as this methodology
    suffices, the circadian rhythm of failure in the Health Sector will
    prevail albeit tragically.

    Let me however remind government that we
    are waiting and once there are violations of our right and MoUs, our
    people who constitute over 95 per cent of the health workforce will do
    the needful.

    In all these, what do you think is the way out because we cannot afford to go on like this?

    I am not sure I want to continue to
    posit on this. It has proved on a perennial basis to be a dialogue of
    the deaf. It is interesting that people mouth dialogue but in reality
    walk in the spirit of monologues because they expect to give directives
    to the other party they should relate with in a supposed rule of

    If you want to solve a problem, perhaps
    you need to appraise the foundational defects or root causes and in some
    scenarios both key elements. The madness that industrial disharmony
    epitomes in Nigeria today is directly traceable to the implementation of
    discriminatory salary wages vis the introduction of Medical Salary
    Wages in 1992 specifically. Today NMA even tells ignorant people that it
    has sacrificed

    about N250 billion which its members
    should have earned to government. Prior to Medical Salary Scale (MSS) in
    1992, to purportedly curb brain drain which is still a reality in all
    the health professions employees in the public service were on one
    Uniform Salary Scale (USS) which provided for entry levels based on
    training, specialisation and expertise. Once government approved MSS
    which has now metamorphosed to CONMESS in contemporary times, other
    sectors began active agitations for what suited their interest.

    I am well informed through reports from
    the budget office that public sector wages which stood at less than N850
    billion in 2009 now exceeds N1.8 trillion in 2014, in just five years
    you can see a drift that amounts to a staggering 105 per cent increase.
    These are some of the reasons development is stifled as all the
    resources are spent on recurrent expenditures. Incidentally, the
    percentage that benefits from these wages translates to less than one
    per cent of our population. The danger that apparently lies ahead is
    that the economy may crash ultimately like we have seen in some other
    climes because no fiscal system has in-built absorbers to continue to
    neutralise the many excesses the unending pressure wage increases

    In the health sector, I have insight
    into analysis which confirm that well over 85 per cent of total budgets
    in the Health Sector is dedicated to only payment of emoluments. Today
    over 59 per cent of our total health budget at federal level is utilised
    to defray wages of the medical doctor cadre alone. This type of output
    which cannot be sustainable makes it impossible to replace obsolete
    equipment or dabble into research and development (R&D) and so
    logically our ailing sector will continue to sink deeper into doldrums
    of unproductivity. The biggest two Federal Health institutions (FHIs)
    gulp over N14 billion in

    overhead expenses, so you imagine what
    it will cost government to maintain 55 FHIs. Again, we advise government
    to stop this drift by appointing seasoned administrators or managers of
    cognate experience to head the 55 FHIs. In the ranks of administrators
    and managers, you will also find some competent health workers who can
    add value and so are appointable. The point here is that a CEO of
    today’s health institution may not excel only on the basis of
    professional qualifications in the health sciences.

    Beyond this, government must drastically
    reduce cost by working out privatisation of some of the clinical
    services especially at the level of out-patient department. If the NHIS
    will be genuinely re-engineered, more of the Out Patient Department
    (OPD) services should be diverted to private care providers provided the
    NHIS secretariat will handle this in tandem with lawful payment

    Opinion molders in larger society need
    to intervene to help our doctor friends to drop their philosophy of
    McCarthyism which is the basis to relate with other health workers
    across board. Those who pray well need to uphold the NMA lords in
    prayers so that the professed nobility associated with medical practice
    will be restored within the ambits of normative civility in Nigeria.

    You have been quoted as telling the NMA
    to stop trespassing on the Privacy of some prominent Pharmacists. What
    is the crux of the matter? What is your advice to NMA?

    The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria notes once again the distasteful reference to

    Late Prof. Dora Akunyili – a notable
    pharmacist in one of the press statements of the NMA. It is a widely
    accepted principle to respect the departed in this part of the world.
    One, therefore, wonders the need for vein glory the NMA was seeking by
    claiming its correct diagnosis on Akunyili was a mark of competence on
    the part of its members.

    Without attempting to meet this negative
    disposition of members of a profession that espouses patient
    confidentiality at the same level, what happened when members of NMA
    misdiagnose the clinical conditions of numerous Nigerians including some
    civil rights activists and others who eventually passed away based on
    ailments that were never detected by Nigeria practitioners? Any average
    care-provider knows that early detection of cancers though desirable and
    important, does not eventually guarantee remissions. Fact
    evidence-based data shows that remissions in cancers occur in just about
    five per cent of cases.

    In the immediate past leadership
    dispensation of NMA, calls were made by the NMA for it to assess the
    mental and physical fitness of the governor of Taraba State, Pharm.
    Danbaba Suntai after his return to the country when legal protocols did
    not provide for such. This assault on the sensibilities of our members
    and their families through unrestrained political scheming for cheap
    gains must stop forthwith. NMA has a way of misinforming a gullible
    public. I have also read accounts bothering on doctors teaching
    pharmacists and other health workers in the University.

    The fact is, there are few areas of
    common ground in training, so just like a few doctors might handle
    courses in pharmacy, academics in pharmacy teach medical students at
    both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Other scientists and
    non-scientists alike definitely teach doctors, so there is no big deal
    about this. I once posited and I am restating this to the new leadership
    at NMA, you will have the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of
    Nigeria to contend with once you clandestinely contend with Nigerian

    Finally, I wish to admonish the NMA and
    its hierarchy to familiarise with global best practices especially as
    preached in the World Medical Association ethics manuals which has many
    salient and relevant reflections to the Nigerian experience. In a
    particular appropriate context, I leave the NMA oligarchy with these
    submissions that state as follows: “The weakening of medical paternalism
    has been accompanied by disappearance of the belief that physicians
    “owe” their patients. The traditional right of patients to ask for a
    second opinion has been expanded to include access to other healthcare

    who may be better able to meets their
    needs. According to the World Health Assembly (WHA) declaration of the
    Rights of Patients, “The physician has an obligation to cooperate in the
    coordination of medically indicated care with other healthcare
    providers treating the patient”. It went further to justify this on the
    basis of sharing a basic human equality and a similar concern for the
    wellbeing of patients.

    • Chinwe

      What do you think are Doctors right or wrong?

  • omonaija

    to hell with all of GEJ and striking Doctors

  • Banks

    I’m a physician here in the US and I agree with the presidents decision even though Im not a big fan of him. Your first responsibiity as a doctor is to your calling and your patients. It is highly unethical for a physician whose patients are very dependent on their basic health care needs to go on strike. During my residency and fellowship training we worked long hours, didn’t get paid what we were worth but we still did what we needed to do. So I hope you all can reflect on your ridiculous decision to go on strike. On the day we graduated medical school we all swore to abide by the Hippocratic Oath

  • Ogbonna

    Titi, May your days be long on this earth.

  • Ogbonna

    You are the WORST IMBECILE who did not see the part of the doctors, that the doctors said that their hands will not be on the DECK and people should die of the DEADLY EPIDEMIC if their demands are not met.
    You are not an OGOGORO PERSON but you reason like one. (ONE SIDED) Read through their write ups here and see that their problem is money meanwhile they are the most paid civil servants in the country. And you are here writing RUBBISH.

  • Dr. Olukayode Philips

    Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), executives
    should be ashamed of themselves, stop giving a bad image because I never
    support such demand though I am also a doctor was registered in the
    association after graduation, but I see the demand to be a very selfish
    interest agenda and not for the progress and interest of Nigerians. I
    PRAISE AND SUPPORT President Jona for the first time, taken such a
    giant action where necessary by issuing a sack letter to all the
    resident doctors, since they are tired of the work, they should go to
    enable the government employ fresh blood into the system.

    I see the demand as senseless for the NMA’s executive to be requesting
    that Nigeria govt. must introduce a new political office called the
    Surgeon General because there is an office of the attorney general of
    the federation for the legal profession, I think they should go and read
    the responsibilities of Attorney General of the Federation before
    making such demand, beside there is no place in the world where a
    government introduce such office because its even cause more trouble in
    the health sector making other health worker like the pharmacies,
    laboratory attendant, nurses etc less irrelevant, where as no one is
    less important because we can carry out our duty without their own
    section of the work.

    Two, I think the demand was senseless and greed request for Doctors that
    work both private and government earning two more salaries in different
    places be asking of another extra hundred thousand allowance including
    all the allowances allocated to doctors in the first place and the worst
    of the demand was that new Doctors must skip level 12 as a starting
    point when we know that in other professions, BSc start from Level 8
    even phd start from 10, and despite the the government skipping all
    those level and make us to start at level 12 which is above a phd other
    in other profession, NMA still want to start more level than 12 when
    other prefessions are watching
    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Somebody should
    please talk some sense into the NMA National President, Dr. Kayode
    Obembe and other executives head,

    Olukayode Philips

  • Sanmi Falae

    Like Pharaoh and contemporary leaders like Babangida, Abacha, Saddam Hussein, Gaddaffi, Obasanjo, and now Jonathan Goodluck, leaders destined for hell and exemplary self-ruin are not always aware that God has a hand in the affairs of men, until it is too late. Who would have thought Gaddaffi, with the absolute power he wielded over Libyans, would come to such an ignoble death, in such a short time, in peacetime Libya, and in the hands of ordinary young boys and girls? Perhaps God is saying to Jonathan Goodluck and the arch-demons around him “Let my people go”?