Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabo, has refuted claims that some resident doctors at the State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi were sacked few days ago.
Reports had emerged on Tuesday that the state teaching hospital sacked some doctors.
However, reacting, Dr. Ongbabo described the reports as false.
According to him the Benue State Government could not have disengaged the services of medical doctors or any health worker at a time they are highly needed to assist in curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
He explained that the affected doctors were not in the employ of the Government but were on residency training programme which duration has expired.
“We are surprised to hear that Benue State has sacked some doctors. It is very unfortunate and that story is not true. At a time like this, we are even looking for more hands, so the state cannot afford to deplete the already deficient number of personnel in the medical profession.
“The story of the resident doctors is this. Residency is a training programme. These are doctors who are not permanent employees of Government.
“They are being trained to become specialists and this training has a time frame. You have to pass the prescribed exams within the time allotted to the training. Just like you do Mass Communication in four years, you are not expected to go and stay in the university for eight years. It is the same thing with this residency training programme.
“ There are years that are prescribed for particular courses and within that time, if you are not able to pass your exams you are instructed to leave and it is what happens world wide”, he added
Dr. Ongbabo further stated that the State Action Committee on COVID-19 was doing everything necessary to protect the people against contracting the virus, adding that information, education and communication materials were being distributed to the rural areas to keep the people informed.
Benue State has only one confirmed case of the disease.