Nigeria: Doctors Threaten Strike If Benue Hospital Fails to Recall Sack Letters

Blood pressure, stethescope

Resident doctors at Benue State University Teaching Hospital on Monday threatened to go on strike if the hospital management in the next 21 days fails to withdraw sack letters it issued on 30 doctors.

The Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital said it changed its decision to start the strike immediately but changed it to an ultimatum in the interest of Benue people, especially in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The association said, "The management has given over 30 doctors sack letters; have rescinded some letters and have also upheld others in a haphazard and subjective manner that doesn't not just follow the laws regulating the service of resident doctors in Nigeria, but is also a disservice to the suffering people of Benue State.

It claims the hospital management wants to impose a six-year period for doctors to enter and leave residency, as against the eight years allowed by the 2017 Medical Residency Training Act.

Our correspondent reports that BSUTH serves as one of the isolation centres in the state for the management of Covid-19 pandemic while the ARD alleged that many of the doctors being told that their time has expired have not been sent by the management for mandatory postings they are to undergo before completing their programs.

"This, the management blames on the gross shortage of doctors in this hospital. Our doctors have their training stagnated (some for over 3 years) by the management, only to be issued sack letters that their time is done, when it was the fault of the management who refused to release them for those postings.

"Also, management have refused to take into account the periods when some departments did not have/ lost accreditation and resident doctors were not able to go for exams. All the lost time, the management has factored into their purported six-year residency program," the association added.

Contacted, the BSUTH's Head of Public Relations, Hough Cephas, at the time of sending this report promised to get back to our correspondent only after consultation with his principal.

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