Abia loses 2 medical doctors every month to brain drain – NMA

Abia loses 2 medical doctors every month to brain drain – NMA

The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has disclosed that no fewer than two medical doctors leave Abia State in search of greener pastures abroad every month.

Chairman of NMA, Abia State, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, who made the revelation weekend during the celebration of his six years of stewardship, said that the ugly trend was having a serious impact on the health care delivery system in the state.

He passionately appealed to the State Government to quickly address the lingering issues of the welfare of doctors at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital ABSUTH Aba; and their counterparts at Health Management Board, who have been on strike over unpaid wages.

While noting the efforts of Government to liquidate the outstanding arrears, the out-going NMA boss attributed the exodus of medical personnel from the state to some of the unaddressed concerns raised by the medical body.

“I want to sincerely appeal to Government to pay more attention to the health sector to avoid brain drain.

“Two to three doctors leave Abia every month for Saudi Arabia where they are paid about six times their salary per month.

“Regular payment of salaries will help reduce brain drain among doctors. We need the political will and commitment to move the health sector forward’.

The NMA boss also renewed call for the release of the Dr. Uwadinachi Iweha who was abducted over a month ago by unknown gunmen still holding him captive despite payment of ransom by his family.

Dr Okwuonu who said he decided to hold the event to render account of his stewardship in fulfilment of his promise while seeking election, tasked leaders at all levels on accountability and integrity which, he maintained, remained the hallmark of leadership.

He identified some of the achievements recorded under his watch as : purchase of land for NMA Umuahia zone;  advancement in the building of event centre and secretariat complex of Abia NMA; and advocacy to Abia State Government that led to the rehabilitation of the access road to ABSUTH Aba.

Others were : advocacy leading to the building of new medical complex at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike; advocacy to MOUAU that that led to the correction of placement of doctors in the CONMESS salary scale, adjustment of entry point and normal promotion along the CONMESS scheme; among others.

In their goodwill messages, Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji;  Professor Ike Nwachukwu of Michael Okpara University Umudike Medical extension; among other dignitaries described Okwuonu as “a go getter”, and exceptional leader.

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