Dr. Luqman Ogunjimi, the Chairman of the Association of Resident Doctors, University College Hospital Ibadan chapter, on Friday said resident doctors were not sacked and that their strike was ongoing.
Ogunjimi made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan. Ogunjimi was reacting to the news of the memorandum issued by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, where he declared all resident doctors on strike to consider themselves sacked.
The chairman said the presumed sack had been overtaken by events as negotiation meetings with representatives of the Federal Government were still on.
He explained: “What happened was that there was a continuation meeting at the instance of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
“Present at the meeting were Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, and other Federal Government representatives and National Executives of National Association of Resident Doctors.
“There was major progress at the meeting with an agreement that there should be a review of issues we are agitating for.
“It was when the meeting was rounding up that news filtered in that the Minister of Health had ordered a purported sack of resident doctors who were said to have abandoned their training programme.
“However, before the meeting ended, the minister and stakeholders present agreed that the circular be disregarded and that another meeting be schedule for July 14.
“We the resident doctors at UCH, Ibadan have not abandoned our training and are still working and still abide by our responsibilities to save lives.
“However, we cannot take a decision to stop the strike now until an emergency meeting is held and going by our constitution, within 72 hours notice to all state branches.
“We have been invited to a meeting, which will hold on June 24 at our secretariat in Abuja, where we are going to review issues surrounding the strike.
“So, as it is now, the strike is still on.
“Even though we are unhappy about comments and some recent developments, we still have confidence that the Honourable Minister of Health will solve the problems on ground because this is what he is known to do best.”
The UCH resident doctors’ chairman then thanked Dogara for his efforts toward resolving the problem.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there was no attendance register opened for resident doctors to sign at the office of the CMD or at the two major entrances of the UCH.
NAN also reports that the resident doctors lounge was deserted and only the administrative secretary of the ARD was on ground.
CULLED FROM: theeagleonline.com.ng