Resident Doctors Sack Threatens Specialist Care – MDCAN

[caption id="attachment_328" align="alignleft" width="400"]Chukwu Chukwu[/caption]

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has declared that the recent suspension of residency programmes and sack of resident doctors by the federal government pose a threat to specialist health care in the country. The association, which met to discuss the suspension of Residency Training for Resident Doctors in Abuja on Thursday, warned that the action of the federal government will have grave implications for specialist health care services. In a statement signed by Dr. Steven Oluwole, MDCAN President, the association stated that special care baby units, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, oncology and other areas of specialisation will be greatly affected by the suspension. Last week, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu,  Minister of Health, announced the suspension of Residency Training Programme for Resident Doctors, worsening the lingering face-off between the federal government and the Nigeria Medical Association. But MDCAN warned that if the suspension is allowed to continue, it will interrupt the on-going training and production of specialists, which is likely to take another 10 years to achieve in the event of the eventual suspension of the programme. "It is not clear to the MDCAN how Mr. President intends to recruit trainees into the programme. It is not clear how junior and senior residents will be produced during the take-off of the programme or, perhaps, we will wait for the next five to ten years to produce the first batch of senior residents. It is not clear how the special care baby units, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, oncology and other specialities will be recreated to produce tertiary level care if this programme takes off. "This suspension, which truncates more than four decades of investments in medical training, presents a future too bleak to contemplate," Oluwole said. He also noted that medical consultants, who are trainers of resident doctors, were not consulted before the suspension was announced. "The residency training programme is designed to produce specialists in all fields of the practice of medicine. Although the programme commenced in Nigeria over 40 years ago, it is still being developed, and remodelled," he said. MDCAN also condemned the direct involvement of the President in the suspension of the residency programme. "The MDCAN is not aware of any country in the history of residency training where the Director of Residency Training is the Head of State. "While the Honourable Minister of Health, the Chief Medical Adviser to Mr. President, is a Professor of Medicine and a trainer of residents, and while doctors of repute have covertly or overtly supported and endorsed this aberrant innovation, the MDCAN strongly recommends Mr. President to suspend further development and continuation of mechanism, arrangement, and purport that have been put in place to drive or to execute this project which we predict will spell doom for tertiary health care delivery in Nigeria," Oluwole added

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