The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday has denied media reports of the sack of striking resident doctors, describing such as “mere threat.” The National President, NMA, Dr Mike Ogirima, has said that the doctors were not sacked. It will be recalled that the Federal Government, had through a circular, with reference number, (DHS/828/T/199) directed Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to employ temporary doctors that will replace resident doctors who are currently on a warning strike.  Ogirima, in his reaction, has said that the circular is a threat and not a sack. The doctors have not been replaced and that is why we have reacted immediately,” warning that it will not fold its arms and watch its members victimized. He demanded the immediate withdrawal of the said circular. Expressing disappointment on the circular, dated January 19, 2017 by the Director of Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health, he said: “NMA will not fold it arms and watch the training of medical specialists and the healthcare system be desecrated by any individual or clique.”
Earlier in a statement by NMA President, Dr. Mike Ogirima and the Secretary General, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the duo has urged the Federal Government to urgently and sincerely address all the issues that are responsible for the ongoing crises in health sector to avoid unnecessary loss of lives. “NMA shall exploit every means within the law to ensure that justice is done and that the Residency Training Programme, all doctors practicing in Nigeria and the welfare of all healthcare workers are treated with the utmost seriousness they deserve.” The doctors, who regretted the poor state of health institutions across the country and the repeated patronage of foreign hospitals by top government officials, recalled that the World Health Organization ranked the Nigerian Health System as number 187 among 191 countries in 2015. They noted that the NMA had been earnestly mediating between the government and NARD to end the lingering crisis by putting the Nigerian health system back on the path to development.

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