The Management of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) has debunked claims by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) that it sacked over 30 resident doctors.
Recall that the ARD, BSUTH branch on Monday in a press statement, raised the alarm that the health institution had laid off over 30 doctors in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospital’s management while responding through its Public Relations Officer, Cephas Hough, stated that only three resident doctors were laid off upon service of a month notice in compliance with directives of the Management Board of the hospital.
Hough, a Deputy Director, in a statement made available to Daily Sun acknowledged the receipt of a notice of a 21 day ultimatum by the ARD before embarking on an indefinite strike for sacking some of its members.
The management noted that the Residency Training Policy of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, requires resident doctors to pass all prescribed examinations within a maximum period of six years.
“In as much as management would have wished to continue to treat this issue as a family matter with all confidentiality, it has become inevitable for us to clarify certain issues the association raised in its press statement on this medium.
“First, we wish to inform that, whereas, the association alleged that 30 of it’s members had been ‘sacked’ by the management of the hospital, we wish to point out that only three resident doctors’ appointments were terminated upon service of a month notice in compliance with directives of the Management Board of the hospital.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to make it clear that residency is a time-bound training programme. The Residency Training Policy of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, requires resident doctors to pass all prescribed examinations within a maximum period of six years.
“Consequently, all resident doctors whose appointments with the hospital have been terminated have exceeded the prescribed period for the programme. As such, management had no option than to terminate their appointments in accordance with the Residency Training Policy approved by the Board.
“It is important to clarify here that, as of now the Medical Residency Training Act 2017, which the association made reference to, in its press statement is yet to be domesticated by the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.
“The hospital is, therefore, constrained to implement the contents of the said Act until it is approved by the Board. The hospital following the commencement of operations in 2012 had its own Residency Training Policy document which has been in force since then.
“The management of the hospital sincerely acknowledges and appreciates the services rendered by resident doctors in the hospital and will always support and encourage them to enable them complete their training successfully,” the statement concluded.