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Nigeria Faces a Decade-Long Challenge to Replace 500 Migrated Doctors

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

Prof. Aminu Muhammad, President of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, expressed concerns on Sunday about the potential decade-long void Nigeria might face trying to replace 500 doctors who recently migrated abroad seeking better opportunities.

This statement followed a study conducted by the association. Data collected from 50 of its 80 chapters confirmed that a minimum of 500 medical professionals have recently left Nigeria to pursue careers elsewhere.

During a Q&A session after presenting a communique at the Biennial Delegates Meeting in Kano, Muhammad highlighted the significant departure of medical specialists, indicating a troubling trajectory for Nigeria’s healthcare system. He reiterated that the numbers showed over 500 medical consultants have looked elsewhere for more favorable work environments.

However, on a brighter note, Muhammad emphasized Nigeria’s remarkable accomplishment in medical education. The country consistently produces some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most distinguished clinical experts, graduates, and postgraduates, many of whom are setting high standards globally.

The association’s communique underscored the pressing issue: “Medical education faces significant challenges, especially with a vast number of specialists seeking opportunities in other regions.”

It further highlighted the unceasing “brain drain” phenomenon in the health sector. This movement isn’t confined to leaving Africa; many professionals are also relocating to neighboring countries in West Africa.

The association’s communique underscored the importance of collaboration. A united front between teaching hospitals, universities, and regulatory bodies is crucial to harness the potential for refining medical education in Nigeria.

The communique also emphasized the need for a strategic plan. It encouraged the government to rally all stakeholders, aiming to overhaul Nigeria’s healthcare framework to ensure affordability and accessibility.

Finally, the association made an urgent plea to the government. They called for comprehensive strategies to curb the brain drain, suggesting incentives to both retain and possibly reclaim the nation’s rapidly depleting healthcare professionals.

Source: Punch

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