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.”