By M. Peter, Jos.

The Management of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH says it did not sack 25 doctors as being reported in the media.

The hospital says rather, it extended the tenure of the Resident Doctors who were allegedly sacked by the hospital.

JUTH in a statement by its Chief Medical Director, CMD, Professor Edmund Banwat berated the affected doctors for discrediting the hospital Management despite its “good intention” and urged all to know that JUTH still remains “among the best training institutions in the country.”

According to him, “The attention of the Management of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH has been sadly drawn to the unfortunate allegation of “sack” of 25 Resident Doctors in the hospital. It should be noted that Management has not “sacked” Anybody Resident Doctor, rather the tenure of their training programme had expired since 2018.

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“The Board of Management had granted one year extension with a further two months that would terminate on 30th June, 2020 to this group of Residents that have exhausted their tenure. Rather than thanking God and Management, the Residents have decided to embark on a voyage of systematic campaign of discrediting Management for her good intention.

“It is a truism that the Residency Training period is tenured and those Residents who have exhausted their tenure must exit to pave way for the admission of new Residents. Over the years, Management had been magnanimous in exiting Residents with lapsed tenure. This magnanimity is clearly seen in several extensions granted to Residents to enable them write their Postgraduate examination either at Part I or Part II levels.

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“For the avoidance of doubt, JUTH has remained among the best training institutions in the country with close to 500 Resident Doctors in training.”

It would be recalled that President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, JUTH branch, Dr Stephen Lukden, had said 25 of his members received their letters of terminations without any cogent reason to back up the management’s decision.

Lukden declared thus: “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”

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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 programme 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 gazette.