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FG Fires 16,000 Resident Doctors



doctors_march Bella Naija

On Wednesday, August 13, the Nigerian government fired all resident doctors in the country.

Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, reportedly issued the order to halt the residency training programme for doctors in Nigeria “until further notice.”

The National Association of Resident Doctors, which is affiliated with the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), is estimated to have 16,000 members.

According to reports, the federal government took the drastic measure “after exploring all avenues to end the strike, which it said had compounded the health crisis in the country,” Punch reports.

An excerpt from the press release by the Deputy Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf, states:

“The situation has been compounded by the recent importation of the Ebola Virus Disease into Nigeria on July 20, 2014. Following the Presidential declaration of a National Public Health Emergency on Ebola Disease, which has united the entire country in the efforts to contain the disease, it is quite regrettable that the people who should take leadership role in the fight against the Ebola disease are now the most unsupportive.”

Photo Credit: Vanguard (*photo above is for illustrative purposes*)


  1. LOL

    August 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Only in Naija….it doesn’t harm the politicians, we see them in International clinics and hospitals with fresh cash in ghana must go bags….don’t worry, these doctors will care for the citizens of other countries. This is what happens when a country’s judicial and moral system break downs, any goon can just fire a whole institution and all hell doesn’t break loose on the streets. We are so desensitized, traumatised by poor leadership and poverty!

  2. you know

    August 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    meet their terms. doctors suffer a lot in this country. And are not well taken care of. You would only fire them to re-hire them

  3. Onye

    August 16, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Only in Nigeria

  4. dizzy

    August 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    But why did they decide to punish the baby doctors? they are just residents.

    I have no qualms with the FG tying to restore sanity to this whole strike thing, but it seems that when elephants quarell its the grass that gets trampled on.

    …….come to think of it, maybe its because the resident doctors are not part of the medical association yet. they cannot harm the association directly so they try indirectly. hmmmm, im seeing the logic now.

    Its all good, smart strategy. All is fair in love and war.

  5. @edDREAMZ

    August 17, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Goverment pls take the light, no give us gud road, no pay salary on tym but pls just meet our doctors demand even if is little abeg bcos most of us no get money to travel out go receive the type of treatment una dey receive abeg and like they say, “health is wealth”…..

  6. Facts

    August 17, 2014 at 6:28 am

    The people you call “baby doctors” are an average age of 27 to 35 years and have spent a minimum of 8 years in training to become residents. 6 years of med school, one year of houseman ship and one year of NYSC before they sit for an exam called primaries….of which about 10% of applicants make it into residency.

    The average time to complete residency is 6 years, if u pass…so some of these “baby doctors” as u call them are old enough to be your uncles and aunts…so please drop that patronizing term and be well informed ….

    A major problem in Nigeria is that many are so misinformed, so many educated illiterates. Imagine investing your life in a profession only to enter a broken system that puts your mental and physical being at risk of destruction in the name of hyppocratic oath?. What oath do the politicians take?….
    . Imagine going to work in the morning ready to save a life and ending up with Ebola because of a broken system?… On top of it you’re paid peanuts as if the cost of food is cheaper for doctors…..the strike is highly valid!…the sooner we know who to support and who to demonize the better for us.

    • anwuli

      August 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      ehn, but in comparison to the doctors that have all that training, plus 20yrs experience on top, they are baby doctors….

  7. Banks

    August 17, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I’m a physician here in the US and I agree with the presidents decision even though Im not a big fan of him. Your first responsibiity as a doctor is to your calling and your patients. It is highly unethical for a physician whose patients are very dependent on their basic health care needs to go on strike. During my residency and fellowship training we worked long hours, didn’t get paid what we were worth but we still did what we needed to do. So I hope you all can reflect on your ridiculous decision to go on strike. On the day we graduated medical school we all swore to abide by the Hippocratic Oath

    • Od

      August 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Imagine not being paid atall during residency. And i live inthe US too so i knw that you earn almost triple of what they earn in residency. 300k amounts to $2000. Even a walmart bagger earns that much on $10/hr

    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      That is A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL.. You do get paid during residency.

    • NaijaPikin

      August 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      My friend please shift jare. You are comparing yankee health care system to naija. Go to a naija govt hospital and see for yourself. Very poor facilities, outdated/no medical equipment, sometimes no light and water and hand soap, sanitizer and gloves are considered luxuries. Patients have to pay for everything before treatment can start. If a doctor is feeling generous and helps out a patient, payment is coming from that drs salary.

      Resident drs in yankee make about $60,000. That can get u a comfy apt and live an ok life. Switch to naija, after strikes and all, some pple spent over 10years in school, come out and are paid peanuts, nothing in naija is cheap. They struggle to pay rent, school fees, feed their family. But politicians who dont do shit are paid billions.

      Before you compare your experience in your comfy, sane, protected, well equipped yankee hospital, I suggest you take a trip down to a naija hospital.

    • Banks

      August 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      You think that earning 60K covers the cost of rent, tax, food, gas and bills in NYC, stop speaking out of your ass. I didn’t want to become a politician and I don’t want to make the same amount of money a thieving politician makes. I just want to help people and thats why I spent 4 years in undergrad, 4 years in medical school, 4 years in residency, and 3 years in fellowship to become who I am today. Its called sacrifice for the greater good moron!

    • Alexa

      August 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      You guys like to whine. You complain you’re struggling but you will come here to the US and spend thousands of dollars on obnoxious clothing and go back to Nigeria and complain that you have no money to pay your bill and its the government’s fault. Absolutely ridiculous. Walk in the day of a resident/physician in the US before you speak. If you do you will look less like an idiot

    • Niyoola

      August 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      But while you were doing your residency, you didn’t have to buy gloves with your own money for your own safety, you didn’t have to do Surgeries with torch light/lamps, you probably had health insurance. We should stop using the Hippocratic Oath to blackmail doctors into working under very bad conditions.

    • Mimi

      August 18, 2014 at 3:17 am

      Ahn ahn, touch light for operation ke? Your own too much. I agree with Bank kinda, the strike should have been postponed until this Ebola outbreak is over. Speaking in terms of finance, its not easy for medical students abroad ….the students loans are crazy, they also get paid peanuts considering the standard of living in their own country. The truth is, in order to be financially stable in any country you have to earn way above the average salary and in any country that’s less than half of the population. I think Nigerians forget that abroad is not heaven. We have problems too might not be in the same areas but they are still there and they are valid and grave to our life @nd situations.

    • kris

      August 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      If you are this patriotic as you claim why did you abandon the Hippocratic oath for the USA.

    • Theresa

      August 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I agree with you. The Nigerian doctors are quite fond of strikes just to get their points and importance across. We all saw the young military man who was beheaded by Boko haram some weeks ago, and he isn’t the only one. Our security personnel are at the forefront of terrorism and many of them pay the ultimate price in very gruesome ways. Yet they are paid even less than doctors and their families are not well compensated in the case of death. Do they go on strike to bemoan their lot? Very rarely. When they mutiny, they are often disciplined very harshly. Yet our doctors act like gods, as if they are the only ones who deliver healthcare to patients. What about the nurses, the lab techs, the nursing assistants, etc?

      Before you call me an educated illiterate, I’ll have you know that I have two doctors and two nurses in my family and I know what I am talking about. Stop comparing yourselves with politicians, we all know they earn more than their job. But life is not all about money. There are missionary doctors providing free healthcare for Africans and their reward is the joy they see on the the relieved faces of family members. Is that not good enough? Is that not what the Hippocratic Oath is all about? Or did you become a doctor to get rich?

      I know you guys work, but so does everyone in this world! With Ebola around, remaining on strike is incredulous! Like Funke Egbemode of Sun Newspapers put it, doctors are now acting as medical terrorists. And I think I agree.
      Money isn’t everything!

    • sandra

      August 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you my sister, our Naija doctors earn better than many professionals in Nigeria, they even make other healthcare workers like the nurses, lab tech and etc. look like they didnt have any education. Yes, we know the doctors in Naija try their best but you know what so do the army, teachers, nurses, lecturers, and every other professional in Nigeria. The army face death every minute, we all are screaming bring back our girls abi? But who will bring them back if not the Nigerian Army and many of them have been killed because of this, yet we dont hear they want to go on strike like our doctors. I feel like our doctors are now looking like whiners and trying to play as if they are superior, for their information, every professional in Nigeria faces different hazards. I think the government’s problem is the fact that if they meet the doctors demands other professionals will then go on strike because it has worked for the doctors. This trickle down effect will also go to the market women who will increase the prices of things in the market because that is the way they too can utilize their own strike action. This is what now drives inflation for the common man who is not a government worker. The so called money the doctors and other professionals get through the strike will now be worthless after 2 – 3 years because of the cycle of inflation in the country. Then we hear the complaints again and then they go on strike and this goes on until ad infinitum. This is what has made Nigeria a very expensive country to live in despite the common man earning less than 2 dollars a day.The question now is how can we improve our country to make life worth living for both the professionals and the common man?

    • Banks

      August 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      THANK YOU!

    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm


      Those “missionary doctors” have ALL of their funding, accommodation and such taken care of, by either their church, friends, family or through anonymous donations… else they wouldn’t be going.

      Are you one of those Nigerians that are suffering and smiling?

      2. Your illiteracy knows no limits! Comparing a PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL DOCTOR to a market woman? Really?!? Really?!?!

      3. Educate yourself on WHAT CAUSES INFLATION! Medical doctors DO NOT. It is policies set by the government that do: aka borrowing money with no intentions of paying it back, lack of sound fiscal policies, waste, corruption, lack of strategy. Sound familiar?
      It should- because that is NIGERIA- Educate yourself some more, THERESA the educated illiterate

    • joe b

      August 18, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Dr banks I thinkyou should come here and see d state of the health sector n what these doctors are facing n rly understand it b4 ur quick to criticise….its agreed dt docs took an oath to save and do no harm but this people have exhausted all their options….politicians lavish moni on jets n luxury apartments and sit in the various house of assemblies moving silly and stupid motions and dey fat moines in thier pockets…..its sad so I tink u shud find out properly 1st b4 u critcise

    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Once again, Men like Banks, who do not live in Nigeria, cannot identify with the struggles of a Medical doctor…. One who studies so hard and does not have much to show for it. Who doesn’t get paid- sometimes for months on end. Who has a family to feed. Who goes to work in shabby conditions- conditions that could induce more disease. Who has no funds available to improve the plight of the people who he is supposed to take care of. Who delivers a premature baby and will watch the baby die because there is no incubator for the baby / NEPA took light and there is no generator.

      People like Banks need to SHUT UP.

      Don’t EVER COMPARE the ARMY/ POLICE to doctors.
      1. They do not study for years on end to achieve their degrees.

      2. Even though they are not well paid, they take bribes. Doctors can’t.. As a matter of fact, what are you bribing them for? To do a surgery faster on you in horrible conditions where you are likely to die from? To admit you faster into a hospital with thousands of Mosquitoes?

      3. Army officials and Policemen have something to look forward to: becoming the oga at the top- or private detail to a Rich man- where they will be taken care of..
      What do Nigerian doctors have to look forward to? Working more and more, day in day out, entering danfo to work. Only to not get paid?

      I will strike and I will strike hard! Let the government STOP taking advantage of the oath i swore to public care, and GET THEIR PRIORITIES RIGHT

    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm


      Listen to yourself:
      “thats why I spent 4 years in undergrad, 4 years in medical school, 4 years in residency, and 3 years in fellowship to become who I am today. Its called sacrifice for the greater good moron!”

      These doctors that are striking- do you think they were able to “become who they are today?”

      If they did, Would they be striking?



    • Peye

      August 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      I detest it when someone from outside speaks about our healthcare system because they know nothing. You don’t know work, you don’t know suffering until you start residency in NIgeria. When senior registrar is going to the blood bank to get a lab scientist to release blood for a patient in theatre, when one human being will see 140 patients at the GOPD in one day, when you’ll do call for 7 straight days in a week walking and then you’ll be seeing stars. where you get a patient that needs urgent xray to the lift after spending one hour pursuing the oxygen man who takes one mobile oxygen round the hospital and finally he comes you get to the lift and oops, power outage. you don’t understand nothing. and residents are the core of public health care in Nigeria and they don’t even see road. An SR in neurosurgery told me there are days she doesn’t take her bath for 3 days. we resumed 6am everyday in that unit and we didnt have a closing time, I did my rotation there for only a month and someone does that everyday for 6 years and get paid about $2000 dollars and you’re there talking. come and do you outside posting in UCH and I hope you’ll be humble enough to post a rethink.

    • US doc

      August 29, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Banks you’re a hypocrite. I’m also a physician in the US and we are not in a broken system. We don’t work as long as some of them do, we have an 80 hr rule limit. Residency in. Naija is 3 years at least whilst in Naija its at least 6 like the Uk. That’s why many of us ran away from there. After residency, we are guaranteed a 6 digit salary minimum. Don’t come here and start that sanctimonious crap. I’ve worked in both places. Nigerian docs are abused. Many of them also have their faults but what else do u expect when u mess up a system? You bring out the worst in people.

    • US doc

      August 29, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      I meant residency in USA is at least 3 yrs after which u can live in la vida loca. Please ignore Dr Banks, I’m sure he is not Nigerian. So he doesn’t get it.

  8. pelly

    August 17, 2014 at 9:03 am

    i pray that the federal goverment will be endorwed with wisdom to solve this health sector problems, sacking doctors dont sound correct at all.

  9. chi-chi

    August 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Okay then let’s just behead the patient to cure the headache mcheww.. Just settle them these docs are going through a lot in Nigeria and its not fair at all! Other countries don’t play with healthcare and education. Its only in Nigeria that doctora and schools go on strike and the government doesn’t even budge. I pity those that don’t have insurance sha cos private hospitals na wa. Admission fee alone 20,000 naira. God is the final judge of it all..

  10. 37clues styling

    August 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I just think NMA needs to be practical and needs to realize that in moving forward, you cant decide to set others back. Just live and let live. Btw, mehn, doctors dey try! Their work schedule na bomb-blast. Btw, not all doctors are crazy. S.O to all my peps! Love you loads. One day we would open a private practice where all of us can work in peace and harmony.

    • Ib

      August 18, 2014 at 3:16 am

      My sentiments exactly!

  11. Http://

    August 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    It’s truly the case of when two elephants fight. First off, I don’t feel the medical profession should go on strike, not just for BH or Ebola, but because you have a duty to your patient whoever they maybe. Why couldn’t they call on the help of other unions, to go on strike for them, like the NLC, the petroleum unions, in fact, I believe the petroleum ones would go a longer way than the medical people going on strike themselves. We also need to understand, is it just renumeration that made the doctors go on strike? I understand their is a power tussle and they are asking that the association by governed by only medical people as in medical doctors mainly and not pharmasicts or other medical professions. If their pain is only money, then the government needs to reach a compromise and keep to their promise. Any other business should be left to the association and the association alone.

  12. Od

    August 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    The reason you speak is because your paycheck comes biweekly. Work in that US and do not receive your check. With your crazy hours , tax and utility you will crubmle under debt.
    You work you get paid: they have a right to demand their paycheck

    Firing residents isnt the solution: not at all

  13. anwuli

    August 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    So now that the doctors have been sacked, what was the “Plan B” on who will treat the patients?

  14. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    August 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    To be honest I personally have no sympathy for the Doctors because it seems whenever they need more money they go on strike, I have had incidences of going to the hospitals or having loved ones admitted in hospitals for one ailment or the other over a number of years and throughout these periods, the doctors are always on strike. In fact I can’t remember when last I patronised a Government Health Institution.

  15. NNENNE

    August 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    The doctors have every right to whatever their demands are but remaining on strike when the nation needs them most is callous.
    People are quick to compare themselves with the US but do not realize that the cost of living in the US is different. The attitude of public servants in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. Even when their demands are met, some doctors will still divert patients to their private clinics and use government time to care for them.
    Money is good but money is not everything.
    If we must copy the USA, let us copy everything. ..their dedication to work, love for country and respect for government institutions. Finally, institutions asking for pay raises most be able to create money, first.Politicians must also give account to the citizens that put them in office.
    Some citizens do not even know who their congress man/woman are or what their roles are They are all in Abuja sharing money. We can do better.

  16. Banks

    August 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I didn’t go to school in Nigeria so I didn’t abandon it but I have always been a proud Nigerian. Nigerians always like to whine and complain about EVERY LITTLE THING, even when their demands are met; they whine but offer no solutions except to go on strike during an epidemic……GREAT IDEA!!!! You don’t know how we live here in the US but you just assume that we are living this fabulous lifestyle. Give me a bloody break!! The mentality of the whole nation from the president to the citizens need to change, but unfortunately you don’t want to hear the truth and that is why things will never change in that country.

    • NaijaPikin

      August 18, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Of course you grew up in yankee thats why you can be patriotic from afar. Come back to me when you have worked in a naija hospital for just 6 months.

      And yes its very possible to survive on $60k in yankee if you are living modestly. I know it because I have done it.

    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      I survived in 35k… No foodstamps or NOTHING. AND I HAVE SAVINGS!


    • ak

      August 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm


      You didn’t even go to school in Nigeria!!!


  17. Catie

    August 17, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I think everyone should read through their demands. Its not about their paychecks. They (doctors) want to stop other healthcare service providers I.e pharmacists, nurses, lab scientists, physiotherapist from becoming directors in hospitals.. They want to stop others from becoming consultants. They want to continue to head hospitals when hospitals are headed by trained hospital administrators in developed countries. Its a total waste of manpower for a trained doctor to become CMD which is purely administrative. Apart from demanding N100,000 hazard allowance, most of their 23 requests aims to dominate the health industry and continue to put other professions in health down. That cannot work. Thats why most of their colleagues abroad do not support their strike because their requests are not in line with international best practices. Its egoistic and very arrogant. Please go through their request.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      August 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      My dear Nigerians will not read before supporting trash, I am tired of Nigerian Doctors, they are always on strike so that ppl will divert to their private hospitals.. They should remain on strike with their ridiculous demands.. Who cares? I just pity the younger doctors that are just coming up, whom they re teaching their ridiculous selfish behaviors. Take out time and read their petition or what ever you call it, if you still support them, then come here and tell me why, ok Govt hospitals are horrible, what of their privately owned shacks? After charging your whole savings, yet common diagnosis they cant even carry out. The other day I went to one stupid hospital on the Island, The doctor there was just acting all high and mighty, I just Ignored the rudeness, later she scribbled on thing as a prescription, the pharmacist there gave me drugs meant for kids, only for me to read the instruction on the drugs and see this, I was just extremely tired. This is a private hospital o, so the only drug with the active ingredient she scribbled in that their over priced, decorated show room they call hospital was the one meant for kids. Please naija doctors stay at home, maybe it will give you people time to develop your own private hospitals, at least there will be proper health care even at a high price, cos as it is now, even at the highest bidder nothing dey.

  18. Dolly Pee

    August 18, 2014 at 2:44 am

    @Banks…yes I am calling you out. If you have not walked in someone else’ shoes, please do not comment. Can you honestly work under the conditions the Nigerian doctors work? and please, you can live a decent life with $60K How many people earn $60k/year in the US? and I mean household income?
    And Mr Banks, even in the US, one of the most anti worker union countries in the world, you have unions constantly fighting for workers right.
    Instead of you siting in your comfort in the US, how about you relocated to Nigeria and offer your services. I am sure a lot will benefit from your US experience

  19. benny

    August 18, 2014 at 7:12 am


  20. Honestly Speaking

    August 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This is a typical case of Haman and Mordecai.

  21. joe b

    August 18, 2014 at 11:45 am

    We nigerians always want to look at issues in 1 aspect…..on d flip side of the coin if doctors were not on strike and mr sawyer went to LUTH or LASUTH n walks into d a/e nurses wud attend to him medical students wud clerk and examine so would residents…..can u imagine the spread after that and how hard it wud have being to control?….d strike is a blessing in disguise…..wether or not drs r no strike d FG has not put tins in place to handle dis epidermic#gbam

  22. Opsy

    August 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Everyone has a point…

    I’m not a medical doctor so I’m not about to say what I don’t know… I’m with Banks on this one however!

    I’ve got doctor friends, some of them have lost thier jobs but I dare say I have LITTLE pity for these ‘government hospital doctors’… hold on, even doctors in private hospitals!!!

    I’ve been to a number of government hospitals in this country and everyone is a boss!!! From the lab attendant to the nurses to the doctors, everyone acts like they’re doing you a damn favour! Bullshit!!!

    I’ve also been to hospitals in England and the States and I know how they react even when a patient has a ‘mere headache’… I’ve had surgery and I had them checking up on me every other day!

    These two economies cannot be compared but they’ve got ‘human beings’ working in both, not ROBOTS!!!

    There’s an epidemic out there and most of them are glad they’re on strike so they don’t get the virus!!! But it’s okay for the doctors working with ‘Doctors beyond borders’ to risk their neck for us in West Africa…

    Everyone’s gotta do what they need to do…

    • Peye

      August 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      you got people checking on you because there enough doctors, not working like clock and getting well paid. when you jump from theatre to clinic and to ward, if one patient wants to start story, I bet you can never be in the mood to listen, you’re crying for your bed. people in less stressful specialties treat people better and that is just normal. ophthalmologist, family physicians, psychiatrists are less stressed in the centers I have worked in so they are more likely going to be nice but you an’t really afford niceness when there not enough hands. you guys don’t understand the system

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