Defined as the movement of health personnel in search of a better standard of living and life quality, higher salaries, access to advanced technology, and more stable political conditions in different places worldwide, brain drain has continued to pose threat to the Nigerian Health Sector.
It is against this backdrop that the Association of Resident Doctors FCT Chapter is calling on relevant stakeholders to declare a state of emergency in the sector to mitigate the challenge of brain drain in the country.
The association made the call during the opening ceremony of this year’s health week in the Nation’s capital city.
While declaring the event open, the Keynote speaker Dr Philip Ekpe said “The work is becoming overwhelming everyday as consultants are now working directly with house officers”
He said Consultants now work with just two (2) registrars as against the actual practice, according to Ekpe in the past a consultant have the privilege of working with 4-5 registrars but the reverse is the case as most consultants have left the country and the ones left behind, are forced to over work as a result of the brain drain reality in the health sector.
Dr. Ekpe said “ you have to work and work as nobody wants to hear that it is because you do not have enough manpower that a patient died, it is either you work or you resign that’s the reality”
According to him, over 30 consultants, 50 medical officers and 180 nurses have left the country to UK, US, Saudi Arabia and Canada in search of better working conditions.
The Health professional noted that the Nigeria health sector is already in a state of emergency as there are some critical departments that are operating without medical specialists.
DR. Ekpe who took time to present detailed statistics of emigration of Nigerian healthcare providers to other countries called on relevant stakeholders to officially declare a state of emergency in the health sector so as to salvage the already deteriorated situation.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of health and human services in the FCT-A Dr. Abubakar Tafida urged Nigerians and especially the medical practitioners to begin by loving the country and find a solution to the menace of brain drain that has eaten deep into the health sector.
Meanwhile Dr. Nnamdi ND-Ezuma the President of the Association of Resident Doctors FCT chapter and Dr. Uchenna Aniebue chairman of the 2022 organising committee lamented the rising cases of brain drain and unanimously highlighted good leadership, proper remuneration and conducive work environment social amenities among other things as some of the solutions to brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.
Earlier during a press conference held in the FCT, the Association lauded the Honourable Minister of FCT Mallam Mohammad Bello “for his effort in providing succor to the health work force of FCTA and further called on the FCTA management to put in steps to reduce the effect of Brain Drain as FCTA health sector is gradually tilting into a state of emergency
The theme for the 2022 Health Week of ARD-FCTA is tagged “Brain Drain and the Health Sector in Nigeria, A Time to rebuild”.
Speaking on the chosen theme for the 2022 health week of the ARD Dr. Nnamdi ND-EZUMA noted that the theme was carefully selected considering the current realities of brain drain in the country, adding that the health sector is heading into an emergency situation.
According to ND-EZUMA “We induct 2000 – 3000 doctors yearly, in the past 10months close to a 1000 have left the shores of this country”.
“There is an imbalance in demand and supply ratio of our medical practitioners”
“In Nigeria is 1 doctor to 10,000 people”.
He further called for all hands to be on deck to find means to mitigate the increasing exodus of doctors out of Nigeria.
Regardless of the push and pull factors, migration of health care workers from developing countries to developed ones, have done more harm than good on the health care deliveries in the developing countries, Nigeria inclusive hence the need for all hands to be on deck to tackle the new national threat in the health sector called brain drain.