"I accidentally met over 200 young male and female medical doctors, including consultants in Hawthorn Hotel, Abuja being interviewed by some Saudi Arabian officials to be employed to work in Saudi Arabia.

"At first, I thought it was a conference taking place in the hotel where I visited as a guest. I saw an Arab gentleman addressing a mammoth crowd at the lobby of the hotel asking them loudly to 'go and come tomorrow'.

"I curiously asked a lady who appeared dejected and was waiting with a file in her hand what was happening?

"The lady told me that they were all medical doctors, who were in the hotel since 7.00 a.m. for an interview for employment and that over 100 'had been successful'.

"The rest were told to come tomorrow for the continuation of the interview... "

Shehu Liberty, a lecturer at the University of Maiduguri made this revelation on January 31, while writing an open letter on his Facebook wall to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He pleaded with the president to make an effort to halt the 'mass exodus' of qualified doctors out of the country.

Liberty said the doctors seemed to have made up their minds to leave the country in spite of his "attempt to persuade them to stay".

"I cannot believe what I saw today.

"What is really wrong with the health sector in Nigeria that warrants qualified doctors to abandon the country to work in Saudi Arabia? Why can't the various governments at all levels employ them? I am certain that their services are needed in most rural communities in Nigeria?" he wrote.

There has been a reported massive brain drain in the medical sector in recent years, as many medical doctors are leaving the country on daily basis.

Search For Greener Pastures

Nigerian doctors have been migrating to U.S, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the UK and many other nations across the globe, investigations reveal.

Relevant medical agencies in Nigeria could not provide official data on emigrant doctors, but statistics from General Medical Council (GMC) UK, as at July 2017 shows that over 4,765 Nigerian doctors are working in the UK. This is 1.7 per cent of the total of the UK's medical workforce.

This trend has been having negative effects on Nigeria's health sector. As a result of this, experts say, Nigeria is experiencing a shortage of doctors in most of its hospitals.

Dr Yinka Owolabi, the former President, Association of Resident Doctors at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital Osogbo who spoke with Bounce News, said there was no way Nigeria health workers especially doctors would not leave the country for greener pastures, because "the work environment is no longer conducive for them to keep practicing their profession."

Dr Owolabi said the migration of professionals in the hospital is not peculiar to doctors alone. He said other health practitioners such as nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory scientists, among others have also been leaving the country.

He said the migration of the health manpower in Nigeria had affected many hospitals in many states.

Another doctor, Akinlabi Ajani, said he had been "processing leaving the country for three years".

Dr Alabi lamented that he finished his housemanship since 2014 and has since not secured a viable job.

"It is sad. When you see most of my colleagues discuss, it is not about where to work in Nigeria, but about opportunities abroad.

"Most of us want to leave, the country is not conducive for us. It is bad that we spend over eight years in school, not counting housemanship, and yet you find no good job," he said.

Will the government just fold its hands and allow the health sector to collapse? 

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