Reps seek mass employment of medical practitioners, upward review of salaries

Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday underscored the need for mass employment of medical practitioners, as part of efforts aimed at addressing the increasing rate of brain drain of medical personnel from Nigeria.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, who called for proactive steps in fixing the health sector.

In his lead debate, Hon. Johnson expressed grave concern over Nigeria’s inability to meet the health needs of over 200 million people as a result of brain drain, despite having one of the leading stocks of human resources for health in the African continent.

“The House also notes that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in 2016 gave the statistics of about 5,000 medical workers leaving the country annually to developed countries making Nigeria the highest source of foreign-born medical practitioners abroad.

“The House is aware from studies that Nigeria has over 90,000 qualified Medical Doctors practising abroad and in fact, an average of 50 doctors who had their primary Medical Education in Nigeria are said to be registering for practice every week in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Canada and the oil-rich countries.

“The House is also aware that Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry visit Nigeria every year to conduct screening for intending Medical Practitioner both in Abuja and Lagos to take them to their country for employment and Nigerian doctors are struggling for a visa at British Embassy to travel to their country after they have even passed their compulsory Professional Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) exams at the British Council.

“The House observes that some factors responsible for this development in Nigeria are inadequate infrastructure, poor human resources planning and management practices and structures, unsatisfactory working conditions characterized by heavy workloads and other factors such as lack of professional autonomy, poor supervision and support, long working hours, unsafe workplaces, inadequate career structures, poor working conditions and poor compensation packages are the factors contributing to the emigration from the country by surgeons, physicians, nurses and other medical professionals.

“The House is worried that the exodus of medical practitioners in Nigeria has in particular contributed to acute shortages of specialized and experienced health professionals in the country and if not curbed, it will be tough for Nigeria to tackle poverty because health is actually the wealth,” he said.

To this end, the House urged Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity to consider expanding the size of the medical practitioners in the country to create employment for the unemployed ones and develop a functional strategy that will attract diaspora Medical personnel to work at various teaching hospitals.

While mandating its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure the employment of the Nigerian medical practitioners, the House urged the Committee on Healthcare Services to call other relevant stakeholders for an interactive session in order to proffer a lasting solution to brain drain of Medical Personnel from Nigeria.



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