September 23, 2019

MDCAN raises alarm over doctors’ mass emigration, says it’s worrisome

MDCAN raises alarm over doctors’ mass emigration, says it’s worrisome

The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University College Hospital (UCH) chapter, Ibadan, has raised the alarm over the rate at which medical doctors are leaving the country on a daily basis, describing it as worrisome.

MDCAN raises alarm over doctors’ mass emigration, says it’s worrisome

Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria

The Chairman of MDCAN, Dr. Dare Olulana, made the remarks after its yearly charity ward round where 10 patients, between the ages two and 45 years, were given N400,000 to offset their medical bills and other consumables.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries of the association’s gesture included abandoned and special needs patients.

NAN also reports that the charity ward round was carried out in collaboration with the UCH management, as part of activities commemorating the MDCAN Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference.

While responding to questions from journalists on a wide range of issues in the country’s health sector, Olulana decried the deplorable conditions of service and lack of universal coverage for patients.

According to him, these are part of the reasons for the mass emigration of doctors.

He said: “What we are doing here today, that is, offsetting medical bills of some of our patients is what many of us do on a daily basis.

“When we see patients who cannot afford medical bills, we are forced to help because it is a sad day for us whenever we lose any of our patients.

“The out-of-pocket payment of medical bills is very disheartening for us as medical practitioners,

“At the close of work each day, we go back home unfulfilled and unhappy with our jobs, and sometimes, you get depressed because you lose a patient just because he/she can’t afford the cost of care.

“As a result of this, many doctors are leaving the country because you just don’t feel happy seeing your patients die.

“Many are leaving to work in countries where the value of their training can be well utilized and appreciated,” he said.

Olulana, a pediatric surgeon, said that the mass emigration of doctors had resulted in overworked and overburdened healthcare professionals.

“There is a limit to what any human can do, we are short-staffed and we hardly meet the WHO recommendation of one doctor to 600 patients.

“Our reality in Nigeria today is one doctor to about 6,000 patients.

“We are all so busy and overwhelmed, and everyone has a limit to what he can take to exhaust in energy; at the end of the day, you are tired and you still have many patients to see; that is very risky.

“In some countries, it is a crime for a fatigued doctor to see any patient; error rate is higher, particularly when the hands are few; it is a big risk and it’s dangerous, even to the life of the patient,” he said.

Olulana said that the objective of making healthcare available to all Nigerians through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had not been realized.

He said that there was a need for a community-based health insurance scheme for wider coverage.

The MDCAN chairman urged Nigerians to demand more from the government in matters relating to healthcare delivery.

“Nigerians should demand from the government what they want. In terms of hospital care, there should be robust health insurance and even medical loans.

“Treatment and diagnosis of diseases like cancer should be cared for and provided for by medical insurance.

“Countries like Malawi and Morocco are treating cancers for free, and this is made possible by government programs.

“Government must be at the forefront of providing quality and effective healthcare,” he said.

Source: NAN


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