By Haruna Gimba
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has expressed concern over the mass movement of healthcare professionals to the United Kingdom and other European countries.
The NMA raised the topic at the 2017 National Executive Council meeting of the association held in Lagos with the theme: “Exodus of Healthcare Professional, Time to Act is Now.”
According to the association, 227 medical doctors left the country for hospitals in the UK and the United States for better offers.
The NMA president, Professor Mike Ogirima, in his address noted that although the patient to doctor ratio in Nigeria was bad, the current spate of migration of medical doctors from Nigeria to other countries had worsened the situation.
“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,” he stated.
Professor Ogirima described the theme of the conference as apt, especially at this point in time that Nigeria was using its hard-earned resources to train doctors to other countries’ advantage.
He said: “Nigeria is losing her doctors and health workers because of the poor working environment in the country. Nearly 300 doctors emigrated last year. More than that number has gone this year. Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and other professionals for foreign countries.
The Lagos NMA Chairman, Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa, identified poor welfare and hostile working environment as factors that make Nigerian doctors to consider jobs in other climes.
Dr Odusote said if nothing is done to improve the welfare of doctors, “it’s going to affect everybody because the Nigeria’s population is growing while that of its healthcare provider declines.”