Ondo State Medical University Sacks Striking Resident Doctors

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The management of the state owned Medical University in Ondo State has sacked it’s striking Resident Doctors by announcing the suspension of the Doctors’ Residency program in the State.

Resident Doctors of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH), had embarked on an indefinite strike last week over unpaid salaries and unsafe working conditions.

The management of the institution however issued a memo on June 23, stating that the residency programme in the state will be discontinued in the state from August 1, 2020.

Resident Doctors employed directly by the Hospital were advised to seek continuation of their medical training in other institutions that offer Residency programmes.

The memo signed by the Director of Administration for UNIMEDTH, Adeoyo Babatunde stated further that the move became necessary so that the Hospital can concentrate on COVID-19 instead of industrial agitations.

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The Chief Medical Director of the institution berated the striking Doctors for being engaged in Union activities instead of their duties.

He said despite earning more than other hospital staff, they remained disruptive to the growth of the Hospital.

The media committee Chairman of the Resident Doctors Association, Dr. Olagba Taiwo described the move as destructive to the health structure of Ondo State.

He reiterated that their demands were legitimate because they were being owed backlogs of salaries and allowances.

The state Government however reacted to the situation by issuing a statement through the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo who said the incident was being looked into.

“For the records, whatever issues that led to the strike action by the Doctors under the Residency Programme and the reprimand by the Management of UNIMED Teaching Hospital are currently being looked into. Such shall be resolved by Monday, hopefully.

“Government, therefore, wishes to urge the General public to be wary of those who have chosen to creep into an unavailable political space. This is a purely administrative and professional issue attracting desirable attention and must not be politicized in any form. The statement said.

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.

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.”

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