The Management of Ondo State University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH), Ondo, has laid off an entire workforce of over 100 resident doctors by suspending residency training with effect from 1st of August 2020.
In an internal memo sent to all resident doctors, tagged “NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF THE RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAM” and signed by the Director of Administration of the Teaching Hospital, the institution said that affected resident doctors could seek to continue their programs in other institutions where the program is currently ongoing.
According to UNIMEDTH management, the suspension of the programme was to allow the institution to concentrate on service delivery for COVID-19 without distraction from the residency training programme.
The memo reads:
“The Management of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex is by this release giving a one-month notice to all Resident Doctors directly employed by the Teaching Hospital that the Residency training program will be suspended as from 1 August, 2020. Residents can seek continuation of their program in other Institutions where training program is ongoing.
“This decision is to allow the Hospital focus on service delivery in order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak without distraction of agitation from the Resident Doctors. This will also allow time for proper implementation of the program when the program recommences.
“Residents may be considered for re-admission when the program recommences in the Teaching Hospital.
“Thank you for your usual cooperation.”
Confirming the incident, a resident doctor at the Teaching Hospital told AfricaHealthDesk that the decision of the school really jolted them as they were not expecting it.
It will be recalled that resident doctors in Nigeria resumed work on Monday 22nd June 2020 after a week long strike over welfare packages and inadequate protective gears to care for patients.
After the resumption of duty, the resident doctors in Ondo State University of Medical Sciences issued a notice of strike over same issues the national body called off their strike for.
It is important to point out that the payment for resident doctors in federal hospitals is done by the federal government.
Will UNIMEDTH remain a teaching hospital?
The accreditation of UNIMEDTH as a “Teaching Hospital” is partly based on the fact that it is training resident doctors.
Now that the entire workforce of those in training has been sent packing, will the hospital remain a teaching?
Also, what will be the faith of medical students who also learn a lot from the resident doctors?
AfricaHealthDesk will continue to follow the story and give updates on the issue at the university.