GOVERNOR Alex Otti of Abia State has directed all medical doctors in the state working under the Abia State Hospitals Management Board to submit a fresh application if they want to continue working with the state government.
The Director of the State Hospitals Management Board, Rock Hemuka, announced this in a memo, dated 17 July and issued on behalf of the Commissioner of Health in the state.
“I am directed to inform all medical doctors in the State Ministry of Health employ to re-apply expressing their interest in working with the ministry indicating their willingness to work under the Ministry of Health, Umuahia and Hospital Management Board,” the memo reads in part.
The memo stated that the decision was in “line with the government vision of delivery of healthcare services to all Abians.”
According to the memo, doctors affected by the decision are to submit their applications before Friday, 21 July or face sanction.
The Abia State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in its reaction has condemned the memo, describing it as “ambiguous.”
The Secretary of the NMA in the state, Dr Daniel Ekeleme, in a statement, on Monday, said the association had contacted Hemuka of the hospital management board over the memo.
Dr Ekeleme said he issued the statement on the directive of the chairperson of the NMA in the state, Isaiah Abali.
“…There is a promise to withdraw the circular tomorrow (Tuesday) and issue a less ambiguous and clearer one. Note (that) no one has been sacked,” he said.
The secretary appealed to all medical doctors in the state to remain calm and wait for further instructions from the NMA.
“Plans are also underway to visit the governor to have a robust discussion on issues affecting Abia doctors,” Dr Ekeleme added.
Meanwhile, the state government has yet to withdraw the memo or issue a fresh one as of the time of filing this report.