Nigeria’s Federal Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) has sacked 25 of its resident doctors.
A letter with reference number JUTH/S/PER/3014/I/102 signed by the hospital’s Director of Administration, Mr. N.L. Tangur, on February 17, 2020 says the sack, effective February 29, 2020, was sequel to the completion of medical residency training by the Doctors.
The residents, still training to become Consultants, were, according to their contract letter (JUTH/S/PER/8039/I/1) issued on December 6, 2012, to be due for termination on completion of the training “which may be six years or six months after passing Part II examination”.
Such training, initially approved for six years was reviewed by Parliament in its Nigerian Medical Residency Act (2017), signed into law on 16th July, 2018.
This was to enable all trainee Medical Doctors complete their courses which could take up to 10 years, depending on industrial stability.
JUTH terminated the contract based on the initial 6-year training period (December 2012-December 2018), implementing the new training extension from June 18, 2019 when the Federal Ministry of Health officially sent letters notifying Federal hospitals of its existence.
The Interpretation Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria however states in Chapter 192, Section 2 that an Act comes into force from the day of its assent by President or passing by Parliament.
After protests, 23 of the affected Doctors were given additional two months, sources say.
However, all training institutions are currently shut due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
Observers believe the extension was to have the residents treat covid-19 emerging patients, amid staff and equipment shortages.
The hospital’s Spokesperson, Bridget Omini, however said the sack was “not true”.
“Come to JUTH for details,” she said in a private social media chat, Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Thursday confirmed 381 new cases of COVID-19 including one in Plateau State.
This brings total confirmed cases in Nigeria to 3526 out of which 601 have recovered and 107 have died.
Plateau State has recorded five cases so far with the Thursday new case. Its index case is rumoured to have been discharged. None of its patients has died so far.