Ondo Govt refutes sacking striking doctors


The Ondo State Government has denied a report that it has sacked some medical doctors at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital.

A media report said the resident doctors at the
UNIMETH have been sacked following the industrial action embarked upon by the doctors of the institution.

The report added that their sacking followed the suspension of the institution’s residency training programme from August 12020′

However, the government said it only planned to suspend the residency programme being run in the teaching hospital but not to sack the doctors.

In a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald Ojogo, on Saturday, the government declared that the government did not sack any doctor in the state.

The commissioner stated that the government would resolve the crisis with the striking doctors by Monday.

Ojogo said, “The matter is a purely administrative and professional issue attracting desirable attention and must not be politicised in any form. We wish to, therefore, emphasize that at no time did the state government sack doctors as the public is being made to erroneously believe.

It should be noted that the UNIMED residency arrangement is the first since the establishment of the nation’s premier medical university. It is mostly undertaken by the Federal Government as many states do not find financial space for such.

“Nonetheless, it is pertinent to clarify that there is a wide difference between doctors employed by the state government and those under a Residency Programme.”

He also explained that “the residency is a post-graduate programme usually sponsored by
governments even as such beneficiaries render
services for a specific period. In effect, doctors under the residency programme are more or less, temporary staff members who qualify as consultants after their period of training.”

Meanwhile, the letter announcing the suspension of the residency programme dated June 23 and signed by Director of Administration of UNIMETH, Adeeyo Babatunde, said it was to allow the hospital focused on service delivery in order to combat COVID-19 outbreak without the distraction of agitation from the Resident Doctors.

The letter said some resident doctors might be
considered for re- admission when the programme recommenced.

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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