By Jide Afolabi, Jos
Activities were paralaysed at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) on Monday as Resident doctors numbering over 120 staged protest in and around the hospital over the alleged sack of 100 of its members by the hospital management.
According to Dr. John Agbo, Chairman, Association of Resident Doctors, JUTH chapter, alleged that the management of the institution refused to obey various court orders restraining it from sacking the doctors.
The doctors claimed that they were expected to spend between seven to 10 years to complete their training, but were being sacked by JUTH management after six years.
“Resident doctors require seven to 10 years to complete their training because of the short changes in the curriculum of the college; this is what is contained in Federal Government circulars issued in 2014 and 2015.
“The JUTH management has refused to implement the current circulars, opting to work with the 2013 circular which pegged the duration of the training to six years,” Agbo stated.
The chairman also accused JUTH’s management of “selective implementation of circulars”, stating that circulars with negative effect on doctors were usually implemented “in a hurry”, while those with positive effects were ignored.
“After the last nationwide strike by our union, the Federal Government instructed that the “no work, no pay policy” should not be implemented, but when they resumed, JUTH’s Management insisted on implementing the policy.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of JUTH, Prof. Edmund Banwat has rejected all allegations against the management of the health facility.
He said, “We cannot sack resident doctors; they come here to undertake a sub-specialty training programme that lasts six years.
“At the end of the six years training, such doctors exit. That is the rule. There is no sacking.
“When they leave, other doctors come in and take their turns. The resident doctors know the rule, but they are asking for a training period of 10 years, which doesn’t happen anywhere.
“The management of JUTH is not sacking; it is a guideline that has been in existence. I do not know why this crop of resident doctors want it extended to 10 years because it is at variance with government’s directive.
“A review is ongoing, but until it is completed, everyone is expected to operate within the existing guideline. When the guideline under review is out, it will be applied uniformly across the country”.
However, Banwat, explained that some sub-specialties required seven years.
“Resident doctors undertaking such specialties have had their training extended accordingly”.
He also dismissed allegations that management was selective in the implementation of government circulars stating that, “All circulars received from the Federal Government are implemented. That is not optional”.
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