The Federal Government on Thursday warned that henceforth it would no longer allow trainee doctors on a one-year internship programme in hospitals across the country to participate in industrial action.
While warning that it would not tolerate any House Officer engaging in any illegal act, the government said they were not allowed to join industrial unions or associations during the 12 months period so as to enable them to concentrate on their training.
The Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Prof. Abba Hassan, sounded the warning in Abuja during the swearing-in of 1,021 foreign-trained medical and dental graduates.
He charged the interns to abide strictly by the code of conduct during their one-year internship.
He said, “By law, they are not supposed to join any association until they are fully registered as doctors. For now, they are on probation and they should not belong to any union or join in the strike.
“Anybody who is caught will be brought before the council and if found guilty, will be sanctioned. The person may be barred from practice.”
Hassan said one of the implications of the transfer of supervisory role to the MDCN was that it would instil more discipline and ensure that doctors on internship would no longer be compelled to join others in the incessant industrial action thereby deviating from the set objectives of the programme.
“They must commit themselves fully to pay attention to their seniors who are training them. This is not the era of people going into private practice. If they spend their time understudying their seniors very well, by the time they finish the 12 months internship, they will be very good doctors,” he said.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, urged the inductees to strive to leave up to their professional calling by distinguishing themselves during the training.