The Federal Government has denied ordering the sack of striking members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), saying they have only been placed on suspension, contrary to reports. Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, stated this while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, on Wednesday, noting that the change in vocabulary from suspension to sack was capable of sending out the message. Chukwu said the programme was suspended because the allotted time within which the resident doctors were supposed to acquire the needed skills was being wasted, hence government’s decision to re-appraise it. He, however, warned that the suspension of the doctors may last for months, until a committee to be set up by government submitted its report on what next to be done.

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