SAD! Nigerian Doctors Are On The Run
In some years to come, Nigeria may not have medical doctors resident in the country.
We are loosing our best hands to Europe and America meaning we will be left with the quacks - a situation that will further condemn the nation’s already declining health sector to doom.
These fleeing physicians do not want so much in return for their expertise. Unfortunately, the working environment in the country does not give them the monetary or professional reward they crave.
On Thursday, the National President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Mike Ogirima, said at least 300 Nigerian doctors left the country in 2016 alone.
He said more doctors have joined the exodus train this year, running to nations where they will practice medicine and get fulfillment.
Bounce News observed a hospital, Ayodele Medical Centre in Fagba area of Lagos, for months, going to see doctors just to be sure he would see the same people on duty for at least a period of time.
But the result of that investigation showed there is truly an exodus of doctors.
On one occasion, he met a doctor reading and he asked him why he was studying so hard as if he was still an undergraduate.
He looked up and said; “I am preparing for an examination”.
What exams? he probed further; “I want to leave this place and not just this place, this nation”.
He was not so satisfied with his job here any longer and he felt he could do better and also offer better services if he got the right environment and of course salary to match.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of NMA had met in Lagos, with an agenda focusing on the “Exodus of Healthcare Professionals, Time to Act is Now”.
According to some reports an estimated 35,000 Nigerian doctors are practising abroad, out of the 72,000 registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. The United Kingdom and the United States are the top destinations of these doctors on the run.
Advantage Of Foreign Countries
In August, an official of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Abimbola Olajide, revealed that no fewer than 2,500 doctors would leave the country this year.
"Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and professionals at the advantage of foreign countries.
"What are those things attracting these professionals outside? Can we duplicate those things here?, ” Ogirima asked.
The NMA President said that the responsibility to check the migration lies with the government, the people and professionals to provide good working environment.
Ogirima said: “The government should provide adequate remuneration.We are not saying we should pay so much, but pay them for the job they are doing as at when due.
“We, on our part as professionals should look inward to change our attitude to patients. We should make patients as the Centre focus of why we are called doctors”.
He said that the National Health Act of 2014 has not been fully implemented despite warnings of legal action and its implications from the NMA.
According to him, the act holds the key to revolutionising the health industry.
"It will encourage provision of additional fund to the system and ensure care of the vulnerable in the society.
"The present provision of only three to four per cent of our annual budget to health sector is not helping the development of our system.
"Some African countries who have voted up to 15 per cent or more to their health systems are witnessing gradual improvement in their health sector.
"Nigerians are now patronising health facilities in our neighbouring countries,” he said.
These issues have always resulted in strike and more strikes by different medical bodies in Nigeria and the end is still not visible.