Join doctors’ strike, get reposted without pay, MDCN tells house officers

Deborah Tolu-Kolawole

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria on Monday threatened house officers of hospitals who join the strike initiated by the National Association of Resident Doctors.

The council’s position was contained in a statement by its Registrar, Dr. T.A.B Sanusi, titled “Press release on professional ethics for house officers.”

It threatened that house officers who embark on strike will suffer a reposting with no remuneration.

The statement reads in part, “The attention of the council has been drawn to the news of the industrial strike announced by the National Association of Resident Doctors and it is in the light of this that council is constrained to issue this public notice as guidance to practitioners and the general public.

“Medical and dental practitioners on the provisional register who are employed as house officers, heads of health institutions where housemanship training for medical or dental graduates are conducted and the general public should note the provisions of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act in Sections 1(2c), 8, 11, 12, the Rules and Guidelines that flow therefrom including the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria (2008 Ed) and Guidelines on Registration.

“Provisional registration is for the purpose of enabling young doctors undertake housemanship training in approved hospitals under the supervision of registered specialists.

“Provisional registration lapses after two years or immediately a doctor is signed off from housemanship. Generally, it is expected that on employment, house officers should complete their postings within 12 calendar months.

“During the housemanship, doctors and dentists are required to undertake 12 weeks’ uninterrupted postings in each of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Paediatrics and other relevant specialties for dentistry.

“Any interruption for any reason, including embarking on strike actions, 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 housemanship of the institution.

“Section 2d paragraph (iii) of Guidelines on Registration (2003 ed.) prescribes that ‘A supervising doctor who fails in his duties in this regard is liable to proceedings being commenced against him at the Disciplinary Organs of Council if his misdeed in the matter is brought to the notice of Council.’

“Embarking on strike actions by house officers will lead to repeat of the posting(s) afresh without remuneration. House officers are therefore advised to avoid participation in activities like industrial actions that could lead to interruption in their postings.”

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