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Resident Doctors are Not To Blame - Health - Nairaland

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Resident Doctors are Not To Blame by Spuggie: 10:17am On Sep 05, 2014
If the recent statements of the
minister of health, Professor
Onyebuchi Chukwu, are anything
to go by, then, residency
training for doctors may be on the chopping
block. This should not be a surprise after the
ban/unban move by the federal government
following the strike embarked upon by members
of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), a
majority of whom are resident doctors. Apparently
referring to the recent strike, the health minister,
at an event in Abuja, accused members of his
constituency of losing empathy and concern for
human life. The minister, at the event designed to
appraise the residency training programme in
government-owned hospitals, lamented that the
programme had derailed from its initial lofty
In an apparently unintended counter-punch,
however, a director in the ministry, Dr Patience
Osinubi, exonerated the doctors from the
minister’s accusations. She pointed out that the
residency programme was beset by numerous
challenges like inadequate funding by federal
hospitals, lack of commitment on the part of
trainers and residents, intermittent loss of
accreditation by training institutions and total
lack of adequate training institutions.
The director hit the nail on the head. The minister,
a professor of medicine, was until his
appointment a trainer of resident doctors. To that
extent, he is well aware of the challenges the
director pointed out. Even from his high horse, he
cannot claim not to know that training
institutions and facilities for resident doctors are,
to put it modestly, almost non-existent. It is no
news, even to lay people, that our hospitals,
especially the federal government ones, are “mere
consulting clinics”. That much was exposed when
terrorists bombed the United Nations building in
Abuja; the neighbour next door, the National
Hospital, could not provide even first-aid services.
And that hospital is one of the best the nation
has to offer at least in the Federal Capital
Territory as a doctors’ training institution.
Whose duty is it to equip the hospitals and make
them functional? Certainly not the resident
doctors who have to put up with the indignity of
referring their patients to outside facilities for
services like laboratory, x-ray and even for
prescribed drugs, fully aware of the risks involved
but are nonetheless helpless. Some, out of
frustration, leave the country in search of
We are not by any means trying to condone the
excesses or, for that matter, the shortcomings of
the resident doctors who are, indeed, the frontline
soldiers in most government hospitals. But the
minister should be honest enough to accept that
the nation’s healthcare facilities are less than
desirable as evidenced by the humiliating
syndrome of medical tourism Nigeria is plagued
by. Professor Chukwu ought to know that the
entire healthcare system is in dire need of
overhaul. Scapegoating the resident doctors is
escapist and unacceptable.
Re: Resident Doctors are Not To Blame by Nobody: 10:53am On Sep 05, 2014
Can we blame him ?

Is it not that same constituency that fought for a medical doctor to occupy the office he sits in that he has turned round to blackmail?

He will surely step down from his perceived "high-horse" one day and then he will realise the incalculable and irreparable damage his tenure as minister of health has done to this noble profession.

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