The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Uche Rowland Ojinmah, has raised concerns about the brain drain in Nigeria’s health sector and the exodus of qualified doctors seeking opportunities abroad.
While a bill proposing a mandatory five-year work requirement in Nigeria before obtaining a full medical license has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives, Dr. Ojinmah argues that there are still many unemployed doctors in Nigeria.
In an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Dr. Ojinmah emphasized that despite the high number of doctors leaving the country, there are still many doctors in Nigeria who are not employed.
He urged the government to address the issue by creating jobs and providing good remuneration for doctors who are seeking employment within the country. He also highlighted the challenging doctor-to-patient ratio in Nigeria, which is far beyond the recommended ratio by the World Health Organization, particularly in rural areas and conflict zones.
Dr. Ojinmah further expressed that the bill proposing the mandatory five-year work requirement does not address the root cause of the problem and may discourage young medical students from pursuing medicine.
He emphasized the need for the government to urgently address the welfare of medical practitioners, including issues such as low remuneration, insecurity, and lack of equipment in many hospitals in Nigeria.
The NMA opposes the proposed bill and advocates for a comprehensive approach to address the challenges faced by healthcare workers in Nigeria, including improving their welfare, ensuring security, and providing adequate resources for medical practice. Dr. Ojinmah expressed concern that the bill may further exacerbate the situation and prompt more doctors to leave the country before the implementation of the proposed requirement.