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Brain drain: Commit more funds to medical education, FG told

By Chioma Obinna & Jennifer Aladetan

To stem the tide of brain drain and enable Nigeria meet up with the World Health Organisation’s recommended doctor to patient ratio and stem the tide of brain- drain as well as prevent half-baked specialists, the Federal government has been called upon to empower training institutions with equipment and personnel.

Making the call last week in Lagos at a 2-day training workshop for over 450 trainers, examiners and assessors/supervisors of trainees on the residency training programme in the country, the Registrar, National Posgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, NPMCN, Prof. Wole Atoyebi urged government to contribute more in terms of funding.

Speaking to Good Health Weekly, at the workshop entitled: “Current Examination Methods with a sub theme: “Dissertation and Curriculum Development and Evaluation”, Atoyebi said over 60,000 doctors have been trained in the country, but the doctors practising in the country at the moment is about half this number.

“We have Nigerian medical association in America with about 10,000 trained from here. To me, it’s a perverse subsidy that poor nations are subsidising treatment in the rich nations. And for us to keep our own home there is need for government to create enabling environment. Our people are hot cakes wherever they are.

“We are working hard to make sure we increase the capacity, we don’t want half-baked specialists. There is a minimum requirement. When we visit institutions in different countries, we award them depending on the equipment and personnel they have,” he said.

Reacting to the ban on residency training in some tertiary institutions, Atoyebi who described it as a sad development, explained as doctors graduated, new ingredients should be made to get the final product, and that stopping them half way, will affect the training and make it slower.

On the training organised by the College’s Docimology and Evaluation Committee, Atoyebi stated that it had become imperative that the College must not only ensure doctors undergoing postgraduate medical education are properly trained by appropriately empowered trainers, but that the assessment methods are robust, valid and reliable.

“We expect a change in the health sector. Change in being more purposeful, change in implementing action programme. We expect a change in putting words into action.”

College President, Prof. Arogundade said the College is saddled with producing competent medical and dental specialists who would provide world class services in teaching, research and healthcare through proper planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of appropriate postgraduate programmes of training.

”Regular review of the training curricula of all faculties of the College is aimed at raising the standards of training content and methods of delivery in conjunction with more scientific and rigorous examination methods in line with International best practices.”

He charged participants to come up with a global model of assessment of residency trainees applicable across all faculties similar to the six interrelated domains of competence developed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, ACGME, which includes medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, communication and interpersonal skills, practice –based practice.

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