The Nigerian government has ordered the replacement of an estimated 14,000 resident doctors in tertiary hospitals who have been on strike.
The action came after many failed negotiations between the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the federal government over work condition, training and other welfare matters.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola, the directive, was contained in a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki and sent to the CMDs and MDs of the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions.
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come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization. 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“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the Doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training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 Program 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.