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Bayelsa Assembly Passes Medical Residency Training Bill Into Law

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Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed the state’s Medical Residency Bill, 2024, into law following its third reading.

The bill seeks establishment, structure, administration and funding of health professionals through specialised residency training programmes towards addressing shortage of specialists in the state’s health sector.

The passage of the bill followed a motion by the Leader of the House, Edwin Bubou-Obolo – Southern Ijaw 2 – which was supported by the member representing Brass 1, Daniel Charles.

Speaker of the 24-member Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, who presided over proceedings, applauded the legislators for the effort and time they had put into passing the bill, which was sponsored by Bubou-Obolo.

He noted that the training of medical personnel was the way forward for sustaining good and functional healthcare service delivery.

Ingobere expressed the hope that the bill, when signed into law, would promote, advance and standardize career progression in the medical profession in Bayelsa State.

Thanking the lawmakers, he said, “Every aspect of the bill has been looked into. The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized.

“Honourable members, you have all taken time to particularly work on the bill and ensure that the health sector is given priority in Bayelsa State for the benefit of all citizens.”

With the passage of the bill, Bayelsa State may have domesticated the Medical Residency Training Act, 2017, which was one of the reasons for the strike embarked on by the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital branch of the Association of Resident Doctors in February 2023.

ARD had hinged the industrial action on the refusal of the state government to do anything about the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with the Nigerian Medical Association on August 14, 2020, to domesticate the MRTA, which had led to the suspension of its strike in 2020.

ARD averred that government’s refusal to honour its promise had made it difficult for resident doctors to go for courses, seminars and register for examinations, especially as the postgraduate examination bodies had increased their fees by almost 100 per cent.

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