The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has bemoaned the brain drain that has affected the healthcare industry, lamenting the fact that no less than 50 doctors leave Nigeria each week in quest of better opportunities abroad.
Dr. Rowland Ojinmah, National President of the NMA, asked the government to act quickly to stop the alarming trend while answering questions from reporters at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Abia Physicians’ Week.
The NMA boss criticized the inadequate working conditions for doctors in Nigeria and urged all levels of government to improve hospitals if they genuinely desired to buck the trend.
He specifically accused state governors of failing to maintain the general hospitals in their respective jurisdictions.
”The governors are sleeping; They should not be waiting for the Federal Government alone. They should fix general hospitals in their states to take care of the health needs to the citizenry at the local levels,” he said.
The NMA President attributed the reported poor service conditions experienced by Nigerian doctors working overseas, particularly in the UK, to an excessive amount of labor.
He acknowledged there were rumors that Nigerian physicians were grumbling about being overworked in comparison to their international counterparts.
Noting that ”there is lopsidedness in job arrangement”, he said if the Nigerian Government had fixed the health sectors, doctors would not be leaving the country in droves.
Abia State NMA Chairman, Dr Isaiah Abali, also speaking said that the brain drain in the health was already having adverse effects on the remaining doctors in the country.
According to him, the situation is putting pressure on the available doctors in the country as some of them are now slumping on duty due to stress and heavy workload.
“Work- related stress syndrome due to work overload had consistently threatened the quality of healthcare services provided by the doctors and other healthcare workers left behind in the country,” he said.
He listed salary arrears and insecurity as the biggest challenges facing doctors in Abia State.
Abali equally said that the poor condition of service in the state hospitals had made some doctors and health workers in the state to migrate to federal institutions besides those leaving the shores of the country.
In his address earlier on the theme of this year’s physician’s week, ‘Nigeria’s Health Care System and the 2023 Democratic Transition: A Time to Change the Narrative’, Abali lamented that Nigerian leaders had abandoned governance for politics