Fed Govt cautions house officers against joining strikes


The Federal Government has cautioned newly inducted foreign-trained medical and dental graduates against joining strikes that can interrupt their postings.It said erring doctors would not only be made to repeat their housemanship but would also forfeit financial benefits associated with the programme, if they join any strike.

The government advised medical practitioners to uphold the highest ethical standards of their profession and avoid issuing sick certificates to the healthy or death certificates to the living.Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, issued the warning on Thursday in Abuja at the induction ceremony for 879 foreign-trained medical practitioners, comprising 862 medical doctors and 17 dentists.

The inductees were successful in the June 2021 assessment examinations organised by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).Ehanire said: “MDCN is already discussing with selected teaching hospitals in each of the six geo-political zones in the country to create opportunities to further equip the skills and knowledge of returning medical and dental graduates from abroad before participating in the assessment examination.

Let me equally appeal to consultants and other senior medical officers under whom these new doctors will complete the last part of their training for an uninterrupted 12 months internship, to continue to commit themselves to the principles of hard work and excellence. These are the hallmarks of the medical and dental professions. They should ensure that these new practitioners are well trained and fit to obtain full registration certificates from the MDCN.

The Federal Ministry of Health and the Budget Office of the Federation have approved in this year’s budget funds for the payment of House Officers by the MDCN, effective from January 2021. The MDCN is now charged with the posting, placement and payment of the house officers to ensure equitable availability of spaces for housemanship training on a first come, first served basis.”

MDCN Registrar, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, who read the Professional Ethics for House Officers, reminded the inductees that they are required to undertake 12 weeks’ uninterrupted postings in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Pediatrics, among other relevant specialties for dentistry, during their housemanship.

Any interruption, for any reason, including embarking on strikes during any of the postings, will not be condoned, and should be reported immediately to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and Medical Director or Medical Superintendent of the housemanship training institution.

A supervising doctor who fails in his duties in this regard is liable to proceedings being commenced against him at the disciplinary organs of council, if his misdeeds in the matter are brought to the notice of council.“Embarking on strikes by house officers will lead to repeat of the posting(s) afresh without remuneration. House officers are, therefore, advised to avoid participation in activities, like industrial actions, that could lead to interruption in their postings,” he said.


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