The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has bemoaned the exodus of indigenous doctors to foreign countries.
Dr Francis Faduyile, President of the Association, lamented the development on Thursday in Abakaliki during the opening of its annual general conference/delegates meeting, estimating that over 2, 000 doctors migrate from the country annually.
Faduyile noted that such unfortunate migration necessitated the theme of the conference: “Skills Repatriation in the Health Sector: Turning Nigeria’s Brain Drain to Gain’’.
“It is our belief that this ugly situation can be made advantageous hence, the need to bring it to the front burner, discuss and find solutions to the country’s advantage.
“Nigerian politicians seem not worried about this trend as they do not have the necessary facts and statistics on the issue,” he said.
The NMA noted that without generating further controversies on the matter, it is hoped that the conference will generate further affirmative statistics and facts on the issue.
“This is as a result of unfortunate remarks made by a senior cabinet member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who incidentally is a senior member of the medical profession.
“These affirming facts will possibly convince policymakers at critical Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to realise the scientific aftermath of the worsening disparity between the health workforce and the population,” he said.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health represented by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Alex-Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Dr Emeka Ogah, said that the Federal Government was striving to halt the exodus.
“We are not happy with the latest incidences of doctors seeking greener pastures outside the country and we will continue improving the welfare of the health workforce.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has supported our efforts to centralise internship posting and this will be unveiled within a year,” he said.
Gov. David Umahi, while declaring the conference open, said that his administration would start the construction a new teaching hospital in June for the state university’s medical school in Uburu (his hometown).
“We will redouble our efforts at improving the health sector to ensure that our people are provided with adequate healthcare,” he said.
Umahi thanked the NMA for choosing the state for the conference, noting that his administration would continue to collaborate with it to ensure adequate healthcare delivery to the people.