Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Resident Doctors working at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMETH), Akure, have been laid off by the Government of Ondo State.
The state government announced the sack of the Resident Doctors in a letter issued to the management of the hospital where it ordered the suspension of the institution’s residency training programme from August 1.
It urged all Resident Doctors directly employed by the hospital to seek continuation of their programme in other institutions where there is an ongoing training programme.
The sack of the Resident Doctors might not be unconnected with the strike embarked upon by the doctors.
The spokesman of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) in the state, Dr Taiwo Olagbe, listed their demands to include the provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) and other security measures to save their members from COVID-19, payment of outstanding arrears from September 2019 to May 2020 and payment of 50 per cent COVID-19 allowance amongst others.
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 stay focused on service delivery in order to combat COVID-19 outbreak without the distraction of agitation from the Resident Doctors.
According to the letter, some Resident Doctors may be considered for reappointment when the programme recommence again.
The Chief Medical Director of UNIMEDTH, Dr Oluwole Ige, blasted the Resident Doctors, saying they were more interested in unionism than a commitment to work.
Dr Ige said the Resident Doctors were the most disruptive group to the growth of the hospital despite earning the best salary among other groups of doctors at the hospital.
According to him, ‘the Resident doctors earn the best pay package among the four groups of doctors in the hospital with the additional benefit of training and advancing to be a consultant. They have been the most disruptive group to the growth of the hospital.
‘They have exaggerated and deliberately distorted the issues of their wage to the extent of putting the hospital management and government into disrepute.
‘The training programme might be suspended until such a time that it will be conducive to train without rancour,’ he added.