Resident doctors remain sacked – Health Minister

Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria's health minister.

The Nigerian government has stuck to its decision to sack resident doctors and suspend the residency programme in teaching hospitals, despite mounting condemnations and resident doctors resuming at their duty posts.

While addressing journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, Nigeria’s Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said despite news reportage on the resumption of duties of doctors and the calls to reinstate resident doctors, the federal government had not rescinded its decision.

The Nigerian Medical Association [NMA] called off the 55-day old strike with a demand that the federal government immediately withdraw the circular suspending the residency programme and sacking resident doctors.

“Delegates demand immediate withdrawal of the government circular (Reference No. C3132/v/46 of 13th August, 2014) suspending the residency training program and sacking of over 16,000 resident doctors, who constitute about 70% of doctors’ workforce in Nigeria,” the NMA had said in a communiqué .

“The NMA urge government, on its part, to reciprocate her good will in ensuring that resident doctors whose appointments were so terminated are reinstalled immediately without any punitive measures,” the NMA communiqué read.

Although the group kept its word and went back to the hospitals on Monday, the federal government said it is yet to receive a notification from the association calling off the strike.

He said the residency programme remained suspended until the President decides otherwise.

“Residency programme was suspended by the federal government, meaning they have been disengaged.

“It is true that over the weekend we read in the papers that the Nigerian Medical Association has called off the strike. But we are yet to see any letter communicating that to us.

“We will move forward when we get a letter from NMA suspending the strike, then the minister of health will advise Mr. President, so for now residency programme remains suspended,” he said.


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  • Anonymos

    Too many inconsistencies from this minister and the F.G. Hypocrites they all are yet G.E.J wet for health care/ surgery in Germany over the weekend with his county’s health system paralysed. Nigerians should begin to hold their leaders responsible especially the press who have not been honest in representing the truth in this issue. The minister is obviously a selfish man and like other government officials does not use the Nigerian hospitals. Regardless of the strike call off the hospitals are still paralyzed, regardless of the court injunction as usual with this government behavior of disregarding the courts this is still what chukwu has to say. Anyone who is not ready to tell lies to rhis government is branded a liar and victimized as NMA was. Are Nigerian hospitals functioning as they should for a nation with our resources? Do those who should make decisions use the facilities? Did the NMA raise valid issues to be tackled? Was any truly tackled?

  • Yakubu2012

    NMA is a useless and medically unethical association. Their members operative private hospitals with highly exorbitant charges while earning salary from our tax payments. Same medical officers travel to other countries and obey the more firmer rules and code of conduct despite diverse unresolved disputes, but declare strikes any how in Nigeria. Shameless!!

    • yub3ee

      Other countries you say. I’m sure you have not been anywhere out of this country before because if you have you would realize your NIgerian hospitals are pit latrines. Get informed

    • sony

      I don’t blame you becouse you have little or no information. Let me ask you this questions. How many of the sacked doctors have private hospitals. Let me educate you a little. 70% of doctors (made up of the resident doctors) are on training and don’t even have time for private practice. Only a hand full of the consultants do. Let me also ask you again, why do people patronise the private hospital who charge exorbitant prises in preference to the public hospitals? I m sure you don’t have answer or have never given it a thought. But you see, just as government officials run away from our hospitals for hospitals abroad, Nigerians who cannot afford health care abroad but can, to some extent, pay for health also run to the private hospitals. But why? Because the public hospitals equipments are obsolete, the hospitals are dilapidated and dirty, health personnel are inadequate. This lead to among others, increase waiting time, poor service delivery, and to crown it all, some patient develop other diseases in the hospitals (nosocomial). Hence, the public hospitals are den for poor people. If the public hospitals are standardized, the private one will not thrive because people like you who goes there and get strangles with cost wouldn’t need to go there. So you see, the success of the private hospitals is a direct result of the fallout of the public hospitals which the doctors are trying to address. I rest my case.

  • John green

    Like GEJ, like his health minister, when they say conflicting words and resolves everyday.. The uncertainty in their decision has been a major factor that has brought this country to it knee at first instance, I pray we get it right come 2015 by embracing the opposition chance because we’v seen the worst of APC but and the best of PDP….we need change

  • edward jolayemi

    I wouldn’t blame yakubu for his comments…
    If not for the nigerian government that places low regard for the custodians of the health of nigerians; and indeed nigerians themselves, he would not be emitting this rot on a public page.
    It’s only a matter of time… nigerians will be singing a different tune when the veil of lies has been pulled off their eyes and reality stares them in the face.
    I’m sure then, our memories would have failed us…
    We probably would have forgotten a revolution had taken place to sanitize the health sector;
    but like the biblical prophet (apologies to my islamic brethren) with the lone voice in the wilderness, no one paid heed.
    Just like we forget that this minister painting himself as a saint was once dismissed for financial crimes…

  • solomon

    The doctors should be arrested immediately and charge for murder.

    They are not fit to be called Nigerians.

    • yubee

      What do you know ?

    • Anonymous

      You like many others including the doctors are frustrated but you misdirect your frustration. When U.K doctors recently declared a strike, overnight before its start their responsible govt sorted issues raised. Did u even read NMA demands, how many were related to salary? Of course you obviously did not bother to educate your self like most others. Are u aware GEJ just returned from a health trip in Germany? R u aware NMA was fighting for health cover for all Nigerians having watched countless unable to afford it while our “leaders selfishly” sort they and their families in other mor responsibly led nations. Very sad when i read shallow opinions like yours. If Fashola had been lije chukwu and GEJ ebola would have beenlike Liberia’s case. All you see is the strike u have obviously never been in a govt hospital or had your relative slip through the crack in the system when doctors hold phone lights to complete surgeries, donate their own money to help patients. Recently luth doctors webt on strike after 6months of begging the management to reduce previously hiked hospital surgery fees moved from 8k to 50k and 35k to 135k with a new rule tgat al patients including emergencies most of whom don’t even have cash or relatives to pay ALL the amount before any intervention. Did the Nigerian public say thanks, NO! Did chukwu or GEJ remind luth of its minimum wage NO! Did the CMD get any directive to reduce the fees in a F.G hospital NO!

      Until Nigerians stop to think and ask why doctors will insist the system is fixed and join the doctors to hold these individuals wasting our funds Nigeria will remain where it is and its professionals continue to exit to places where you don’t have to say sorrybto a relative except you are sure the death was inevitable.

      The brain drain will continue, already 20k doctors to 170k people, unaffordable health care even in FG hospitals yet nigerians blane the doctor. No good toilets, lights, water on tge ward, soap yet we say yhe doctors are to blame. Why didn’t the minister visit the ebola centre, is it not still the “sacked” resident doctors eho volunteered while the so called elders gave excuses? Nigerians nust open their eyes and insist on the truth always

  • b2anija

    The NMA needs to take a cue from ASUU. I hope they haven’t lost out upon a careless magnanimity.