FG recalls 16,000 sacked doctors

Onyebuchi Chukwu
Onyebuchi Chukwu
Onyebuchi Chukwu

The Federal Government has rescinded its decision to sack the over 16,000 members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD.

The position of the Federal Government was announced on Friday in a statement by Dan Nwomeh, the spokesman of the Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.

The statement also announced the lifting of the suspension on the residency training programme of the doctors.

The suspension of the training programme was the major plank on which the government based its veiled sack of the doctors.

While the initial statement stopping the training programme fell short of saying in clear terms that the over 16,000 doctors that belong to ARD had been sacked, the interpretation left no one in doubt that the government was baring its fangs on the resident doctors over the strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The ARD is regarded as the major wing of the NMA.

On Thursday, the government, based on the decision of the NMA to call off its strike, said it has forgiven the resident doctors.

Nwomeh, in the statement, said the suspension of Residency Training Programme in all federal hospitals had been lifted with effect from Thursday, while the ongoing appraisal of the programme continues.

The statement added: “The Federal Government has also reinstated all resident doctors that were disengaged as a result of the suspension with effect from the same date.

“Accordingly, all Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the training centres are directed to issue letters of reinstatement to the resident doctors to enable them resume work immediately.

“The Federal Government urges the resident doctors to see the magnanimity of government in reinstating them as a goodwill gesture to engender greater commitment and dedication to their duties.”

As at Thursday, members of ARD in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital had refused to resume despite the calling off of the strike since Monday.

Their grouse was that they had been sacked and were yet to be recalled.