By Asma’u Ahmad
The Vice-President, Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, has identified lack of political will as one of the major factors causing brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.
Enabulele made the assertion in a keynote address at the 34th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin on Monday. He spoke on: “Curbing the Massive Brain Drain in the Nigerian Health Sector: Restructuring as the Solution.”
Dr Enabulele also said that poor utilisation of local health facilities and expertise, poor living condition and remuneration of health personnel had contributed to mass migration of health workers to other countries. “Lack of professional development opportunities, continuing education and training, lack of clear career development paths, nepotism in recruitment and promotion are also some of the contributing factors.
“They are also attracted to developed countries as a result of sophisticated working equipment, availability of information and easy access to communication and technology. “This situation has made large number of highly trained, educated and very skilled people to leave the country to work in another countries where they receive better working conditions,” he said.
The medical expert said that there was need to create job opportunities for medical professionals and other health workers. “This will make them to be relevant in the development of the country’s health sector,” he said. Enabulele called on the state governments to upgrade their own health facilities to ensure that the working environments and conditions were conducive for health workers and professionals.
In his goodwill message, the Emir of Shonga, Dr Haliru Yahaya, commended the association for its services to humanity. He urged them to focus more on health and education programmes as they would further contribute to the national development. In his opening remarks, the Chairman of ARD, Dr Kolawole Ige, said that the high rate at which healthcare professionals, especially doctors were leaving the country necessitated the theme for the 2017 AGM.
Dr Ige said that there was need for stakeholders in the nation’s healthcare system to make concrete efforts to curb the dangers posed by mass exodus of medical experts. According to him, this is of great importance, because the shortage of skilled manpower will further jeopardise quality healthcare delivery in the country.