Home NewsInternational ‘3,383 Nigerian nurses, midwives move to UK in one year’

‘3,383 Nigerian nurses, midwives move to UK in one year’

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

A total of 3,383 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives were licensed to practice in the United Kingdom in one year.

This is according to the latest report on the number of professionals on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register from April 1, 2022, to March 2023, obtained from the NMC.

The report also showed that so far, 10,639 nurses and midwives practice in the UK.

The NMC is the regulator for nursing and midwifery in the UK and it maintains a register of all nurses, midwives, and specialist community public health nurses and nursing associates eligible to practice in the UK.

The WHO on March 8, 2023, listed Nigeria and other 54 countries as facing the most pressing health workforce challenges related to universal health coverage.

WHO said with the impact of Covid-19 and widespread disruptions to health services, health workers in the identified countries continued to seek better-paid opportunities in wealthier nations.

The WHO said of the 55 countries, 37 are in Africa, eight are in the Western Pacific region, six are in the Eastern Mediterranean region, three are in South-East Asia and one is in the Americas.

Thereafter, the UK government on March 23 placed Nigeria and 53 other countries on the red list of countries that should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers.

Meanwhile, the NMC report released on Wednesday showed that the number of nurses, midwives and nursing associates registered to practice in the UK has grown to a record total of 788,638.

The council said the year 2022 to 2023 saw the highest number of new joiners to the register in a single year – more than 52,000. These include 27,142 new professionals educated in the UK and 25,006 professionals educated around the world, mainly outside Europe.

The number of people leaving the professions fell slightly last year to less than 27,000. However, there are concerns about the future retention of staff, with 52 per cent of professionals who left the register saying they did so earlier than planned.

The data showed that Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign nurses and midwives working in the UK after India and the Philippines.

The report read in part, “76.8 per cent of internationally educated professionals (educated outside the UK and EU/EEA) (104,506 out of 136,116) are from India, the Philippines and Nigeria. In 2022–2023, the number of people educated in India overtook the number of professionals from the Philippines.”

The report noted further that since March 2018, there had been an increase in the number of persons joining the permanent register from the UK. It said between April 2022 and March 2023, 27,142 people from the UK joined the register.

The number of persons from the UK leaving the permanent register remained relatively similar to the previous year. In 2022–2023, no fewer than 22,997 people from the UK left the register.

The graphical analysis by the council on the number of Nigerian nurses and midwives that moved to the UK in 2018 was 2,796, but the number increased to 3,021 in 2019.

It further showed that by 2020, 3,684 Nigerian nurses and midwives were already practicing in the UK, and that the number increased to 4,310 in 2021, and 7,256 in 2022.

By March 31, 2023, the number of Nigerian nurses and midwives practicing in the UK is now 10,639.

Also, the number of nurses and midwives from the Philippines in the UK is now 45,472, while the number of nurses and midwives from India practicing in the UK is now 48,395.

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