By Chioma Obinna
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi recently urged medical doctors under the auspices of Doctors For Change, DFC, fast-track collaboration between the state government and the private sector as part of strategies to check the challenge of brain drain in the country’s health sector.
Abayomi made the call during the DFC’s Inaugural Convention designed to create a pathway for Nigerian doctors in the diaspora to come home and contribute their quota in alleviating the deplorable state of healthcare in Nigeria.
The Convention had in attendance doctors from a diverse backgrounds of specialisations across Nigeria, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa and other countries around the globe.
The State Commissioner for Health, said: “It is always very exciting to see private sector organising themselves like this” as it is easier for the government to collaborate with a group like DFC rather than deal with multiple individuals.
Abayomi emphasised that healthcare is always considered a critical part of the government agenda, pledging that the state government will continue to play its part in putting necessary policy and infrastructure in place to support doctors.
In his welcome address, the Convener of the Convention, Dr. Babaseyi Oyesola revealed that the DFC is a brainchild of his desire to bring solutions to the numerous problems affecting the healthcare sector of Nigeria.
Oyesola said with the collaboration and ongoing dialogues among the stakeholders, the aim of the group will be achieved and the desired change will come to reality.
Speaking, the Medical Director of The Bridge Clinic, Dr. Toyin Ajayi, lauded the convention for putting together such a platform for doctors of Nigerian origin training and practising all across the globe to come together, dialogue and collaborate on how to move the Healthcare sector forward.
She revealed that one of the things that helped make her transition from UK to Nigeria easy was the fact that The Bridge Clinic maintains the same standard and quality obtainable where she was coming from.
“The Bridge Clinic ensures that everything is done according to international standards and best practices” she added.
In her pre-recorded goodwill message to the group, The Chairman/CEO of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, assured members of DFC that she is prepared to work with them while calling on more doctors in the diaspora to consider how they can be part of the change.
On her part, the President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, Dr. Pamela Ajayi in her presentation, highlighted the challenges facing the industry while advocating for the government to create enabling environment through favourable policies to encourage doctors in the diaspora to come home.
She disclosed that $5.16 million was remitted in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
The convention, however, featured a number of critical healthcare topics, panel discussions and scholarly exchange on healthcare advances, setbacks, policies guidelines, finance, structures and infrastructure.
Among those present at the event were the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Dr. Aderemi Desalu; The Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer, First Cardiology Consultants, Dr. Yemi Johnson; the President of Healthcare Federation of Nigerian (HFN), Dr. Pamela Ajayi; President, Guild of Medical Directors, Dr. Abiodun Kuti; Chairman of the Board, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Richard Ajayi; President Association of Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners, Dr. Kay Adesola; and President Association of Nigeria Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu, to mention a few. While among the many specialist hospitals present were The Bridge Clinic, Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and Specialist Hospital, The Duchess International Hospital, Vesta Healthcare, Brain and Spine Surgery Ltd., Pneumacare, First Cardiology Consultants and many more..