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There are enough medical doctors in Nigeria—Minister

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There are enough medical doctors in Nigeria—MinisterThe Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire says there are actually enough medical doctors in the country adding that the Federal Government is working towards replacing any medical doctor who resigns and leaves the country.

Ehanire made the assertion on Tuesday in Abuja during a media conference.

He also said there was no embargo on the employment of doctors and other health personnel in the country.

“There is no embargo on employing doctors where there is a need we do. But because there is a Civil Service regulation there are processes before doctors are employed.

“We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country and the number leaving is less than 1,000 It is just that the employment process needs to be smoothened”, he said.

The minister explained that the ministry was working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service to use the One for One employment strategy so that if one doctor or nurse resigns to go abroad another one is employed.

“So if we have one replacement then you are not likely to have shortage. But that has been worked out because the Head of Service had the experience that in the past when one person goes they use the opportunity to take three and those others may not even be people who are required.

“We want to use this policy so that we can reduce shortages and have our personnel back in our hospitals.”

There are enough medical doctors in Nigeria—Minister

Dr. Deborah Bitrus Oghoghorie of the Department of Hospital services said that the issue of the two weeks ultimatum given by the National Association of Resident Doctors NARD for the Federal Government to meet the demands of the association or risk an industrial action was being looked into.

According to her they are mainly financial issues which the ministry could not solve on its own.

The issue we have with the resident doctors are mainly financial issues and because of that we at the ministry of health cannot handle it alone. So what we are doing now is to facilitate resolving the issue with the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning and the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

“We want to assure you that the ministry of health especially the department of hospital services is working very hard to ensure that industrial action is averted.”

ROYAL NEWS reports that on Aug 20 the resident doctors had given the Federal Government another two weeks notice within which to implement the payment of the new hazard allowance and arrears stipulated as at Dec 22 2021.

The two weeks which took effect on Monday will elapse on Sept 4. The said hazard allowance is contained in the circular issued by (NSIWC) dated Dec 22 2021 with reference number 04 21811406.

Some of the other demands of the association include the urgent implementation and commencement of payment of the 2022 Medical Residency Training Funds MRTF in full to its members using the old template.

Also that the shortfalls using the newly reviewed template be computed and incorporated into the 2023 budget and paid in arrears.

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