The Management of the University Teaching Hospital, Jos (JUTH) has disengaged twenty -five doctors amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic and even as the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has asked the Chief Medical Director to reverse the action with immediate effect.

It was learnt that the hospital is one of the Isolation centers for the raging covid-19 pandemic as it posed the concern of how those quarantined will get adequate medical attention with twenty five being laid off.

President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, JUTH branch, Dr Stephen Lukden who confirmed the development on Wednesday said twenty-five of his members received their letters of terminations without any cogent reason to back up the management decision.

Lukden ” Yes it is true. Twenty-five Residents received letters of termination of their residency training and we have information that some will receive theirs in the weeks/months to come. We have not seen this kind of thing before”

In a letter addressed to the JUTH CMD, Prof. Edmund Banwat, the association asked the hospital’s management to reverse the sack letters issued to its members describing the action as unjust and illegal.

The letter jointly signed by ARD President, Dr Stephen Lukden and the General Secretary, Dr Noel Nnaegbuna noted that the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA) 2017 which was signed into law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and gazetted on the 16th July 2018 stipulates guidelines on the conduct of residency training programmer in the country.They pointed out that the Federal Ministry of Health had also in a letter dated 18th June, 2019 directed all Chief Medical Directors in the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions to immediately begin the implementation of the gazetted MRTA acts and wondered why the JUTH management would go-ahead to sack the affected doctors in breach of the constitution.

The ARD letter dated May 4, 2020, which was copied to the Board Chairman of JUTH, Medical Advisory Council, Nigerian Medical Association, among others read in part :

” It is sad that this sack is occurring in the heat of the COVID 19 pandemic when the Federal Government is even considering recalling retired doctors to the workforce.

“The unlawful termination of these appointments contravenes the provision of the MRTA which mandates the National Post-Graduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) to regulate the Residency Training and also routinely bring out online databases stating when a resident should be withdrawn from the program.

“A similar situation happened in Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, where 33 residents were wrongfully sacked two weeks ago. After deliberations with the governor, the residents were recalled this week.

“In view of this, we ask that the management looks into this issue again critically and promptly recall the affected resident doctors as provided in the Medical Residency Training Act by withdrawing the already issued letters and re-issuing appropriate ones to the affected individuals.

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