….say out of 300 doctors employed in 2 years, 160 has migrated
By Chioma Obinna
Medical doctors under the employ of Lagos State government, Tuesday raised the alarm over what they described as the imminent collapse of health services due to an acute shortage of doctors in hospitals across the State.
Handing down the warning at a press conference in Lagos, the doctors under the auspices of Medical Guild pointed out that Lagosians should hold the State government responsible as medical services have deteriorated to the level where some doctors are developing serious health challenges.
They queried the authenticity of medical service from a sick doctor, adding that due to the shortage doctors now see more than 100 patients in a day.
Still warning that health services in Lagos will soon collapse if nothing is done urgently, they recounted that: “This avoidable situation is affecting healthcare delivery, patient satisfaction, mortality and morbidity rates and general health indices. If nothing is done about this shortage coupled with brain drain with respect to the medical profession in Nigeria, the health service in Lagos state will soon collapse.
Speaking the Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr Saheed Babajide said: “We have less than 2,000 doctors in LASUTH but we need about 4,000 to take care of the expansion and some specialisation that is happening there. Generally, in the last two years, about 300 doctors were employed, roughly 160 have left the service. For instance, at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Mainland, four doctors were employed but six have left. Two from the newly employed and four from the number employed earlier. “
Babajide urged the State Government to urgently replaced exited doctors as well as recruit fresh doctors to take care of the new hospitals and maternal and child centres across the state.
On the issue of Primary HealthCare, PHC, the Medical Guild Chairman urged the government to ensure that each PHC has at least a medical doctor in order to reduce pressure on the secondary and tertiary health institutions, and for the achievement of universal health coverage.
“The Guild also frown a situation in which public – private partnerships were instituted in some PHCs. We believe that individuals participating should build new health centres or hospitals to complement the inadequacy of PHCs in the state and that government especially local government should rehabilitate and equip two PHCs in a year.”
Speaking, the Vice President of the Guild, Dr Sodipo Olujimi identified emigration of doctors as the greatest challenge facing healthcare in Lagos, hence, the need to give incentives to doctors that are staying back.
“In the UK there over 200,000 registered doctors but here we have never crossed 42,000 and out of that number half are practising abroad. We have never crossed that. It is a bad situation. We need to find ways to encourage those that are staying behind. Many doctors are still here because of patriotism. Most of the doctors are coming down with mental health issues and cardiovascular issues. Again, no country can get it right without functional PHCs and 90 per cent of patients are at the primary healthcare level. All the hospitals should be working.