Dissatisfied with a circular from the National Universities Commission (NUC) which prescribed acquisition of Ph.D degree for Clinical lecturers in Nigerian universities, medical consultants under the aegis of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, yesterday protested and withdrew their services to patients.
The NUC had, in the circular dated 24th December, 2019, addressed to Vice-Chancellors of all Nigeria Universities and the Registrar of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, indicated that Ph.D programmes would be introduced in the Clinical Sciences in the university system.
The circular read that the programme would be for postgraduate training of interested medical practitioners as well as for career progression of those in the academia. The circular has however caused anxiety among patients and medical students in the tertiary medical institution.
While addressing journalists at the hospital yesterday, the MDCAN, Chairman, Dr. Dare Olulana on behalf of his colleagues, described the position of the NUC as incongruent and “putting the cart before the horse.”
In attendance were the first Vice National President, MDCAN, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, who represented the National President, Prof. Ken Ozoilo; the UCH branch Chairman, Dr. Dayo Williams of the Association of Resident Doctors; Secretary, MDCAN, Dr. Adedapo, and medical students from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
While declaring an indefinite strike to press home its demands for the withdrawal of the circular, MDCAN said the policy, requiring Clinical lecturers to acquire a Ph.D as a condition for career progression in the Nigerian universities stood logic in the head.
Olulana said his members were constrained to withdraw their services from the University College Hospital, Ibadan with immediate effect in protest against the policy, adding that “it is ancient logic that efficiency is compromised whenever the cart is placed before the horse. This is what the obnoxious NUC circular on Ph.D for Clinical lecturers in Nigeria universities that was released represents.
“The originators of Medicine and Medical practice have always trained their doctors relying on the expertise of fellowship earners because they have gone through carefully- developed residency programme that carry both academic and professional contents unmatchable by any other.”