Godwin Akor, Makurdi
Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabo, has described as ‘baseless’ the rumour making the rounds that some resident doctors at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi, have been sacked.
The commissioner, who featured on a Radio Nigeria Harvest FM programme, said that the state government could not have disengaged the services of medical doctors or any health worker at a time they are highly needed to assist in curtailing the spread of Coronavirus.
He explained that the affected doctors were not in the employment of the government but were on residency training programme which its duration had elapsed.
“We are surprised to hear that Benue State has sacked some doctors; it is very unfortunate, that story is not true”, he emphasised.
He said at a time like this that government is looking for more hands, the state cannot afford to deplete the already deficient number of personnel in the medical profession.
He explained thus, “Residency is a training programme for doctors who are not permanent employees of government, they are being trained to become specialists and this training has a time frame”.
According to him, one has to pass the prescribed exams within the time allotted to the training just like those who do Mass Communication in four years.
He stated further that those doing the training would not be expected to go and stay in the university for eight years. “It is the same thing with this residency training programme.
“There are years that are prescribed for particular courses and within that time, if you are not able to pass your exams, you are instructed to leave and it is what happens worldwide.”
Dr. Ongbabo said the State Action Committee on COVID-19 was doing everything necessary to protect the people against contracting the virus, adding that information, education and communication materials were being distributed to the rural areas to keep the people informed.