June 10, 2023

Brain drain: Native doctors, herbalists will soon take over health sector — Mimiko


— Says Nigeria’s in a war situation

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has raised the alarm over doctors’ brain drain in the nation’s health sector.

Mimiko said that ” We are in an emergency. If we continue at this rate, in another five to ten years, only the “babalawos” (herbalists) will be available to take care of us. It is an emergency, and the government must see it as an emergency. The government must disincentive the rate at which our medical doctors and medical personnel are emigrating out of this country.

Speaking at the induction ceremony of the first set of medical doctors of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo town, the former governor said that ” the situation where doctors and other health workers are trained at a subsidised rate in Nigeria and in turn abandon the country for developed countries calls for huge concern.

He described the present situation in the health sector as a war situation following the alarming rate medical personnel moving abroad for better opportunities

The institution, UNIMED, was established during his administration in order to help fill the dearth of medical workers in the country but lamented that other countries have been poaching those who have been trained and giving nothing back to the country in return.

“We cannot continue to hold this nation unaccountable. We can take advantage of the opportunity for our professionals to learn new skills. I don’t think any serious government can fold its arms while other countries decide to empty it of its human resources, especially in the health sector.

“There are WHO protocols for all of this, and I think the government should sit down with this government that is not investing in training their own people. We must sit down, and they have to pay something for taking our people away.

“If, for example, UNIMED has capacity for 50 doctors and they want to take 30 doctors, they should also provide the facility and mechanism to expand our capacity to train more doctors for them.

” We are a great country; we have an incredible young population who are ready. This country has the capacity to train two million to three million students, but those countries that stand at that end to benefit from this training must also do something to expand our capacity to train our people.

“The government must take it up at a very high diplomatic level. We cannot fold our arms and allow all our best human resources to live in this country. It is like a war situation. But I know one thing for sure: if the government does the necessary things, it can be a win-win situation for us as a nation.”

Mimiko lauded Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for resisting pressure to relocate UNIMED from Ondo town adding that the governor’s efforts at giving the first medical institution in the country the best manifested when he appointed Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, the current Vice Chancellor of the University, based on merit, even with the protest from some quarters.