Over 2,000 medical workers leave Nigeria for overseas yearly, says NMA
Over 2,000 medical workers of Nigerian origin leave the country for developed countries annually, the Nigerian Medical Association has said.
President of the Association, Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, stated this in Abakaliki during the opening ceremony of the Annual General Conference/Delegates’ meeting of the Association in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
According to him, this had necessitated the theme of the meeting, which was, ‘Skill Repatriation in the Health Sector: Turning Nigeria’s brain drain to brain gain.’
“We believe that the situation can be turned to an advantage, hence the need to bring this to the front burner for discussion and proffer a way out to the country’s advantage,” Faduyile said.
He also said that Nigerian politicians do not seem to be worried by the trend because they do not to have the necessary statistics and facts on the matter.
“Without intent at generating further controversy on the matters arising from the unfortunate remark by a senior cabinet member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who, incidentally or coincidentally, doubles as a senior member of the Medical Profession, it is our firm belief that this gathering would generate firm statistics and facts that possibly would be enough in convincing those policy makers at critical MDAs of government at all levels, including the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity who, perhaps, are yet to come to reality with the scientifically unambiguous deleterious aftermath of the worsening disparity between the health workforce in general and the population.
“Then, they can join us in the clarion call for action and be committed to instituting necessary actions,” Faduyile said.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, also expressed worry at the increasing rate of brain drain in the medical sector.
Represented by the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Dr. Emeka Onwe, the minister said the federal government was working hard to end the mass exodus of medical workers from the country.
Declaring the conference open, Governor David Umahi promised to continue to support doctors and other healthcare practitioners in the state.
He said his administration would commence the construction of a new Teaching Hospital for the state university’s medical school in Uburu.