Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Compulsory PhD: Medical consultants refuse to call off strike

Medical consultants under the aegis of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria insist  they will not call off their strike  until the National Universities Commission withdraws its circular on compulsory PhD for all consultants lecturing in  medical colleges.

The  consultants withdrew their services in protest against the circular making acquisition of a PhD  compulsory.

The NUC  in the circular dated December 24, 2019, addressed to vice-chancellors of all  universities and the  Registrar of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria indicated that PhD programmes should  be introduced into the clinical sciences in the university system.

The  MDCAN  Chairman, University College Hospital, Ibadan branch, Dr Dare Olulana, said in keeping with the directive that the affected lecturers should withdraw their services, teaching of medical students had been suspended.

However, the strike  has  not affected patients at teaching hospitals.

Olulana said, “The teaching of medical students has been suspended. We have not been teaching them since we withdrew our services from the university’s college of medicine. That is what the strike is meant for at the moment.

“We have not been teaching the medical students. They are not in the clinic for us to teach them; they are not in the theatre; not in the class; and of course, they are not on ward round.

“As for treating of patients,  that has gone undisturbed. Our action does not affect patients’ care for now. It only affects teaching of students and that has been very effective. To the best of my knowledge, none of our members is opposed to the withdrawal of our services to the medical students.

“We are about 250 medical practitioners at the UCH branch. These are consultant medical doctors  who also work in the College of Medicine.”

Asked why they were still attending to patients, he said, “We are working because the NUC circular is what is provoking our action for now. It is directed to the universities and it has to do with lecturing; it talks about the capacity to lecture medical students requesting that we should all have PhDs; this is  not necessary for medical lecturers who already have fellowships.

“Why the  NUC is asking for that we don’t know.”

Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Medical Students Association, University of Ibadan, Aminat Ogunfolu, has urged the NUC to reverse the new policy considering the fact that it was needless.

She said, “We are not enjoying what is happening; we want to be back in class. We are appealing to the  NUC and the Federal Government to please resolve this issue. Thinking that PhD will be required for our lecturers to be able to teach us is not really significant.”

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