The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has inaugurated a Ministerial Committee on the restructuring of the Residency Programme with a view to institutionalizing effective and sustainable training for doctors in the health sector.
The residency-training programme is a structural, institutional based competency training programme for doctors and dentists who have acquired Basic Medical/Dental Degree (MBBS/BDS). Upon completion of the training as Fellows of a Post-Graduate Medical College, they are appointed consultants.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee on Tuesday, Adewole charged members to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the health system.
The Minister highlighted the importance of the programme to the medicial profession and practice.
He said: “For some of us who went through this programme, we can confirm that what we have now is a disaster. It has been bastardised. This is an important programme that should not be allowed to die.”
The Minister also ruled out reviving the overseas residency programme, stressing rather, that some kind of exchange with leading specialist institutions abroad would be more tolerable, considering the nation’s financial situation.
“I am not sure we can have one year abroad as we sued to have. But we can do short time exchange programmes,”he stressed.
He chronicled previous efforts to restructure the programme, but noted that such efforts failed because they were commissioned at the height of industrial disharmony in the sector.
The Minister gave further reasons for the planned restructuring.
He said: “Over the years, the programme has witnessed several modifications to the extent that there is no uniform template being implemented by the various institutions.
“The non-uniform implementation has led to the disputes in the various training institutions and the local chapters of the resident doctors associations which has culminated into industrial disharmony. As a fallout of the above, there is lack of confidence in the Nigerian health system which has given rise to the penchant for medical tourism abroad.”
He went on: “To stem this tide and in a bid to holistically address the attendant problems, this administration has decided to appraise the existing programme in all ramifications with a view to institutionalizing an effective, efficient and sustainable residency training programme for the country.”
He charged the committee to appraise the report of the previous committee on residency programme submitted to the Minister of Health in April 2014 as it affects recruitment and career progression of resident doctors including the existing structure.”
Adewole tasked members of the committee, who he said were carefully enlisted from relevant professional groups in the health sector, to deliver on the following terms of references:
• To appraise the report of the previous Committee on Residency Programme submitted to the Honourable Minister of Health in April 2014 as it affects recruitment and career progression of Resident Doctors including the existing structure.
• To examine the existing funding mechanism of Residency Training and role of relevant stakeholders vis-a-vis Government, Resident Doctors and the Teaching Hospitals.
• To make recommendations on a sustainable uniform Residency Training Programme in terms of structure and training modules including a template for the appointment of Resident Doctors.
• To make any other relevant recommendation that will contribute to the development of a well-structured programme for the Nation.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Shamaki, represented by the Director of Family Health, Dr. Wapada Balami, urged the committee members to use their expertise in carrying out the assignment for the overall benefit of the Nigerian populace.
In his acceptance speech, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Adewole Atoyebi, promised that they would be professional in their duty and submit the report in due time.
The Members of the Committee are:
1. Prof. Adewole Atoyebi, the Register of MPGMC – Chairman
2. Prof. Mike Ogirima, President of NMA – Member
3. Prof.A.O Omigbodun, President of West African College of Surgeons – Member
4. The President and Secretary, West African College of Physicians – Member
5. The President, NARD – Member
6. The President, MDCN -Member
7. The President, MDCAN – Member
8. Dr. J. O. Olatosi, West African College of Surgeons – Member
9. Prof. Ademola A. Olaitan, College President of NPGMC – Member
10. Prof. Uche Ezem (O & G), Dean of Imo State University – Member
11. Prof. Philip Abiodun, Paediatrics Dept., UBTH – Member
12. Prof. Moses Momoh, Dean of Surgery, UBTH – Member
13. Prof. B. B Shehu, Neurosurgeon – Member
14. Committee of Chief Medical Directors, Federal Tertiary Health Institutions – Member
15. Director, Department of Hospital Services, FMOH – Member/ Secretary.
Credit: The Guardian