The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has spoken against the removal of doctors on housemanship and National Youth Service Corps from the scheme of service by the Lagos State Government.
A circular issued by Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Lagos head of service, had directed that medical doctors undertaking housemanship and NYSC doctors be removed from the scheme of service following a National Council of Establishment decision.
The circular had said the programmes form part of their training.
“Accordingly, Mr governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved the removal of grade level for Internship Programmes/housemanship, NYSC Doctors in the state public service,” the circular reads in part.
Reacting, Adetunji Adenekan, NMA chairman of Lagos chapter, at a media briefing on Monday, said the association is actively involved in ensuring that the removal of house officers and NYSC doctors from the scheme of service does not lead to a crisis in the Lagos state health sector.
Adenekan said the association, through the medical guild, had been liaising with the state government on withdrawing the “crisis-prone circular”.
According to him, there is a scheduled tripartite meeting involving the head of service of the federation, national NMA, and MDCN, aimed at resolving irregularities in the circular.
“It is important to clarify that medical/dental interns are graduates and very essential frontlines that render indispensable services in Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) approved hospitals, albeit under supervision,” he said.
“Also, NYSC doctors are full-fledged medical/dental practitioners and fully registered by MDCN.
“Unfortunately, only Lagos state government hastily commenced its implementation out of all the 36 states and FCT, even the federal government is yet to.
“The NMA Lagos condemns, in totality, the hasty posture of the Lagos state government toward the implementation of the circular as this may only culminate in crisis.”
Adenekan appealed to the state government to withdraw the circular to further strengthen the current harmonious relationship between the association and the state.