Isaac Adewole, minister of health, has directed heads of federal hospitals to immediately engage the services of ad hoc doctors to augment the services of those available.
The directive followed the strike embarked on by resident doctors, who took the action over the failure of the government to meet their demands, on Monday. One of their demands is the payment of arrears of salaries owed them by the government.
The minister had asked federal hospitals to employ the services of doctors, who are currently undergoing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, pending the resolution of the problem.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Boade Akinola, spokesperson of the ministry, said the new directive was an effort to reduce the workload on consultants and NYSC doctors.
“The minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole has directed CMDs/MDs of federal hospitals to immediately engage the services of locum doctors to augment the services of consultants, NYSC doctors and doctors on internship pending the resolution of the on-going strike action by the resident doctors,” she said.
“This was contained in a circular Ref. No. C. 3132/Vol. V/116, of 5th September, 2017, addressed to all CMDs/MDs of federal tertiary health institutions across the country.
“This according to the honourable minister was an attempt to reduce the increased workload of consultants, NYSC doctors and house officers thereby preventing reduction in quality of service delivery to patients.”
Akinola added that the government was committed to fulfilling its mandate of providing healthcare to its citizens no matter the circumstances.