Medical council say resident doctors’ strike is illegal

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has declared the ongoing strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctor illegal.

The MDCN warned that any doctor who participated in the industrial action might repeat his or her internship without remuneration, Punch reports.

This was contained  in a statement by the MDCN entitled, “Professional Ethics for House Officers/Interns,” issued on Monday by its Acting Registrar and Chief Executive, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi.

The body advised Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors and Medical Superintendents  in various teaching hospitals to ensure that all resident doctors under their watch abide by all regulations guiding their internship.

“The MDCN regulates medical and dental practice in Nigeria as stipulated by the provisions of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act Cap M8 LFN 2004 which states that during internship; doctors and dentists are required to undertake 12 weeks of uninterrupted postings in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Paediatrics and other relevant specialties for dentistry.

“Any interruption for any reason, including embarking on strike, during any of the postings, will not be condoned and should be reported immediately to the Chief Medical Director, Medical Director or Medical Superintendent of the internship training institution.

“Embarking on strike by interns will lead to repeating of the posting(s) without remuneration. Interns are therefore advised to avoid participation in activities like industrial actions that could lead to interruption in their postings.

“A supervising doctor who fails in his duties in this regard is liable to proceedings being commenced against him at the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal if his misdeed in the matter is brought to the notice of the council,” the MDCN stated.

However, resident doctors at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State and many tertiary hospitals across the country  joined the nationwide strike called by their parent body, the National Association of Resident Doctors.

The Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode, has said the health facility will keep the hospital running in spite of the industrial action.

Bode said, “Most of the doctors are off duty because of the Sallah holiday. This is because we record low turnout of patients during festivities. The few patients are being taken care of by consultants. We will address the public today after appraising the situation.”

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