President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sacked resident doctors working in Federal Government hospitals.
This action came in the heat of the hoopla the few cases of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has caused.
A Federal Government circular on August 13 said the action was taken to address the challenges in the Health sector.
Since July 1, over 16,000 resident doctors had been on strike. They turned down all entreaties from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and other stakeholders to cooperate with the government in the fight against the Ebola virus.
An internal circular by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, L. N. Awute, said the suspension was with immediate effect.
In a press release by the Deputy Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf, the Federal Government said it had to do so after exploring all avenues to end the strike, which it said had compounded the health crisis in the country.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Medical Association had directed its members natiuonwide to go on strike on July 1. The National Association of Resident Doctors, an affiliate of the NMA, has put its numerical strentgh at about 16,000.
?The situation has been compounded by the recent importation of the Ebola Virus Disease into Nigeria on July 20, 2014. Following the Presidential declaration of a National Public Health Emergency on Ebola Disease, which has united the entire country in the efforts to contain the disease, it is quite regrettable that the people who should take leadership role in the fight against the Ebola disease are now the most unsupportive,?? the statement said.
The resident doctors were unceremoniously relieved of their jobs after the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Wednesday, issued a directive terminating the residency training programme for doctors in the country until further notice.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Health, Isiaka Yusuf, said the resident doctors had been frustrating the government?s move to contain the Ebola virus.
The statement said NMA made good its threat of June 11, by calling out its members for a strike, despite government?s intervention meetings and dialogue.
The government said it had extensive deliberations with the leadership of the NMA, where agreements were reached on the 24 demands and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties.
It said in the midst of the strike, the government also sought the attention and intervention of some eminent personalities to prevail on the NMA leadership to respect the ethics of their profession and end the strike while the dialogue continued.