At least 2000 medical workers leave Nigeria annually in search of greener pastures overseas, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said yesterday.
Unfortunately, such workers relocate to developed countries, according to NMA President, Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, who spoke at the opening of the Annual General Conference/Delegates meeting of the Association in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
He said the worrisome trend informed the theme of the meeting which is “Skill repatriation in the health sector: Turning Nigeria’s brain drain to brain gain”.
Dr. Faduyile said: “We believe that this ugly 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.”
The NMA boss also said that politicians in the country do not seem to be worried at the trend because they do not have the necessary statistics and facts on the matter.
He said: “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 believe that this gathering would generate further affirmatory statistics and facts that possibly would be enough in convincing those policy makers at critical MDAs of government at all levels.
“Such MDAs, including the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, 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 they are serving vis-à-vis the alarming rate of the emigration of these health/medical professionals on health outcomes as reflected by the various morbidity and mortality data. Then, they can join us in the clarion call for action and be committed to instituting necessary actions.”
Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole also expressed worry at the increasing rate of brain drain in the country’s medical sector.