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Resident doctors threaten strike over poor funding

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19. June


Strike looms in hospitals as the National Association of Resident Doctors has warned of an impending national strike over alleged poor funding of their residency training by the Federal Government.

The 21-day ultimatum given to the FG by NARD will expire on June 18, 2003.

NARD National President, Dr. Akinlade Lawal, at a news conference at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, on Thursday warned that the resident doctors across the country might embark on strike any moment after the 21-day ultimatum expired.

Lawal expressed dismay at the inadequate funding of the residency training programme in the 2013 budget.

He warned that the Residency Training Programme of NARD members across the country could be jeopardised with the attendant setbacks in skills development in neurosurgery, pathology and gynecology, due to inadequate funding.

NARD said the meagre fund allocated to the RTP in the 2013 Appropriation Bill was grossly inadequate and would cripple the scheme.

The association added that “update courses, exams and other course fees” for members were already not being fully settled promptly by the FG.

The resident doctors’ boss stated that the development was exposing members’ careers as well as specialised healthcare delivery service to Nigerians to a grave risk.

Citing the situation at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State  as one of the cases of underfunding of NARD’s knowledge upgrade, Lawal noted that the institution’s authorities made a budget proposal of N200m for the RTP for over 500 resident doctors. But he lamented that only N19m was approved by the government.

“In many of our centres, the facilities on ground are obsolete and are no longer ideal for training. Hence, the overseas clinical attachment programme is becoming more and more relevant to the training in Nigeria. Although this was recently reactivated by the Ministry of Health and is still at the pilot stage, we must confess sincerely today, that the Nigerian factors—poor planning, apathy from government towards important programmes and corruption are already threatening the survival and effective execution of this project at our local centres.

“Residency training is the only training that can ensure the availability, affordability and easy accessibility of specialised care for the poor and average Nigerians who cannot afford to seek treatment abroad. It is the backbone of medical manpower in any nation. This is because it is the fountain of scientific innovations in the field of medical research and it is the template on which every other training in medical care is formed,” he said.

Article Credit: Punch Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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