NMA decries migration of doctors

NMA decries migration of doctors

NMA President, Dr. Ogirima addressing participants at the event.

The Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA) has expressed worry over the mass exodus of healthcare professionals in Nigeria.

The association raised this concern on Thursday, at the 2017 National Executive Council meeting of the association held in Lagos with a theme: “Exodus of Healthcare Professional, Time to Act is Now.”

They noted that in 2017, over 300 medical doctors  left the shores of Nigeria in search of better working condition.

In his opening address, NMA President, Dr. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, noted that while the country maintained a poor doctor-patient ratio  of 1: 4000 population, the current spate of migration of medical doctors from Nigeria to other countries is worsening the ratio.

“In 2016, about a total of 227 doctors were reported to have migrated out of Nigeria. More often, the reasons are for a better working environment.  The cost of this migration to Nigeria is enormous,” Ogirima stated.

While commenting on the theme of the meeting, Dr. Ogirima noted that the theme is so apt at this point in time because Nigeria is using its resources to train doctors to other countries’ advantage.

“Nigeria is losing their doctors and health workers because of poor working environment. Nearly 300 doctors have emigrated last year. More than that have already gone this year. Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and other professionals at the advantage of the foreign countries,”Ogirima maintained.

A cross section of participants at the event

Also speaking in an interview, Chairman, NMA Lagos State, Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa, stressed that medical profession in Nigeria is been threatened by the migration of doctors.

“If nothing is done, it’s going to affect everybody because our population is a growing population and the population of health providers is a declining population and that is a panacea for disaster,” Dr. Olumuyiwa said.

The Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal  who is one of the speakers at the event, also commented:

“We need to discourage our people from going out because if you look at the doctor to patient ratio which is standing at 1 to 4000 in Nigeria that is terrible. So we must find a way of bringing back more doctors.

As a way forward, Dr. Ogirima suggested that those things attracting professionals outside should be duplicated in Nigeria.

“The government on its part should provide the working environment, adequate remuneration, pay them for the job they are doing as at when due.

“We on our part must look inward to change our attitude to Nigerian patients. We should make patients as the center purpose of why we are called doctors,”  he proffered.

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