Brain drain: Nigeria may import medical doctors in future -NMA
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm that Nigeria may have to important medical doctors to treat local patients in the future if urgent steps were not taken to fix the deteriorating situation, it may lead to a total collapse of the health system in the country.
The Oyo State NMA Chairman, Dr. Ayotunde Fasunla, raised the alarm in Ibadan on Tuesday, at the official opening of the 2022 scientific conference titled, ‘National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites.’
The body also called for a state of emergency in the health sector to holistically address the menace of pull and push factors, responsible for the mass migration of health personnel to Europe, America, the Middle East, and other African countries.
Fasunla stated further that the poor state of the government-owned hospitals in the country was largely due to poor funding.
He noted that the budgetary allocation to the health sector in 2022 was approximately 4.2 per cent of the national budget.
According to him, “The figure falls significantly below the recommendation of the African Union at the Abuja Declaration of a minimum of 15 per cent. The situation, he said, was worse at the state level.
“The infrastructure deficit is such that some of our hospitals spend a significant amount of their internally generated revenues on diesel to ensure power supply.
“There is a scarcity of funds to apply for equipment upgrade, manpower development, or even recruitment of new staff.
“Many of our hospitals are grossly under-staffed. Even the process of replacing migrating staff is bogged down by a rigid and insensitive government bureaucracy.
“It is our plea to the government to commit more funds to the health sector so that the system does not collapse.
“Only healthy people can have the will and strength to contribute to the growth and development of a nation’s economy.
“Therefore, I call on well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists, and non-governmental organisations to join hands with the government to improve the conditions of the health system in the nation, especially in Oyo state. It is obvious that the government cannot handle it alone,” he added.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Council, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Dr. Abiodun Adeoye, stated that the brain drain in the health sector should be treated as a national emergency.
Adeleye, who represented UCH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, stressed the importance of the power of industrial harmony in the health sector towards boosting quality and robust healthcare in Nigeria.
He urged the health sector personnel to shun all forms of rifts that had been considered to be deleterious to the healthcare system.