NIGERIA has lost more than N5.7 billion on its investment in the training of doctors in the last three quarters of this year with over 1300 doctors trained in Nigeria moving to the UK between August 31, 2022 and September 30, 2022 and at least 200 others licensed to practice between August 31, 2022 and September 30, 2022.
President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Uche Ojinmah at a media parley in Ibadan on Monday said “Nigeria is going through one of the worst situations of brain drain in its history with 10,296 Nigeria-trained doctors currently practicing in the UK.
“In addition, between January and September 2022, over 1,300 doctors trained in Nigeria moved to the UK, with the country licensing at least 200 Nigerian-trained doctors between August 31, 2022 and September 30, 2022.”
Dr Fola Adeniji, a lecturer of Health Policy and Management at the College of Medicine, speaking at the opening of the 2022 Physicians’ week with the theme “Nigeria’s Healthcare Delivery System and the 2023 Democratic Transition: A time to Change the Narrative” in Ibadan said Nigerian government losses at least N3.8 million, which is equivalent to 10,000 US dollars, for subsidising the training of just one doctor who eventually leaves the country to higher income countries.”
He declared that the brain drain will affect the level of innovation and development in the country given that the best heads are not staying back in Nigeria to come up with strategies to ensure that problems within the health sector are solved and the sector does not collapse.
In reversing the trend in the short term, the Chairman of NMA Oyo state branch, Dr Wale Lasisi called on the government to give doctors incentives to mitigate the brain drain threatening to collapse the health sector.
Lasisi, who linked the problem of brain drain to the Nigerian population explosion, said the problem which had been since 1960 is now worse and compounded by the UK trying to replace its workforce and make sure its people get the best of healthcare with Brexit.
According to him, “The question is in the immediate, what would Nigeria do to mitigate this? You cannot bring down the standard of the medical profession to just pass everybody out. In the immediate future, the best thing that the government can do is to add incentives to make people here stay and those who migrated and are now finding it easy will return.”
In his lecture, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State advised the gladiators that are contesting for one position or the other to put healthcare on the front burner.
He declared: “We have seen all promises from 1960 till when the civilian rule started in 1999 and so much legislation has been made and we have also heard that they want to develop primary healthcare but we have not seen any significant improvement after Prof. Olikoye Ransome Kuti the scene. “