By Kelechukwu Iruoma
A new survey conducted by Nigerian Polling organisation, NOIPolls, in partnership with Nigeria Health Watch, has shown that about eight out of every 10, representing 88 percent of medical doctors in Nigeria are currently seeking work opportunities abroad.
Chief Executive Officer of NOIPolls, Mr. Bell Ihua, who disclosed this yesterday to newsmen in Abuja, said that the finding cuts across junior, mid and senior level in both public and private medical institutions such as house officers, corps members, medical and senior medical officer, residents, registrars, consultants and medical directors.
He said: “Nigeria has about 72,000 medical doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria but only approximately 35,000 are currently practising in the country. The United Kingdom and the United States are the top destinations where Nigerian medical doctors seek work opportunities.”
He said that further findings revealed that the reasons for the looming brain drain in the health sector include: “Challenges such as high taxes and deduction from salary (98 percent), low work satisfaction (92 percent), poor salaries and emoluments (91 percent) and the huge knowledge gap that exists in the medical practice abroad (47 percent) amongst others.”
He said he hoped that the findings would help stimulate conversations amongst stakeholders in the country’s health sector and trigger much needed reforms to redesign a health system that is responsive to the healthcare needs of the nation.
He said that for Nigeria medical system to be effective, “Nigeria need 303,333 medical doctors now and at least 10,605 new doctors annually to join the workforce. Only at this level can we expect good quality patient care that is not compromised by errors occasioned by fatigued and overworked medical doctors.”