The Northern Elders’ Forum has said that the exodus of doctors from Nigeria to the West has brought the nation’s health sector to its knees.
This is as the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council noted that it had licensed 91 Nigerian-trained doctors to practice in the UK.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the statistics also showed that between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022, about 1,307 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed in the UK as Nigeria continues to battle one of the worst situations of brain drain in its history.
Reacting to this development, the spokesperson for the NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed noted that it was sad that foreigners were benefitting from the nation’s pool of medical practitioners who were fast migrating to the West to practice.
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“Our doctors and other professionals are flooding out of the country. We are not angry with you (doctors), but we will not sympathise. You leave behind a nation on its knees, and us, more desperate by your absence. Foreigners will benefit from you. We’ll fix Nigeria, in sha Allah. For you, too.”
But a former national president of the Nigerian Medical Association, Francis Faduyile, in an interview with our correspondent, said the doctors could not be blamed for seeking a better place to practice.
He said, “It is the fundamental human right of every individual to apply his trade or profession anywhere in the world. This is the same way it is the fundamental right of any citizen to access health anywhere in the world. So, if we have been having government officials traveling outside to access treatment and you said doctors cannot, I don’t subscribe to that. Every doctor has a right to go and practice his profession anywhere in the world since it is recognised.
“The usual pain that I had expected them to look at majorly is to look at the pull and push factor. If your people are comfortable in the area that they are in, it is very certain that it is more likely that they will be pulled into the other area. That is where the major issue is.”
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