Nigerian Federal Government is complaining that the country is now riddled by scarcity of healthcare workers as a result of exodus of same to America and Europe.
“Scarcity of healthcare workers is the primary challenge in the health sector today. The loss of many highly skilled and educated people from the country to the UK, Canada and Australia has become more worrisome to health authorities.”
The minister of State for Health, Ekunmankama Nkama, made the complain today, August 9, through the Medical Director in the Federal Medical Center, Ebute-Meta, Dr. Adedamola Dada, at the 16th Annual Scientific Conference and Fellows’ Congress, organized by the Post Graduate Medical College Fellows’ Association, in Lagos.
“The brain drain phenomenon in the health sector in Nigeria has been noted by the federal government and efforts are already in place to find a lasting solution to the problem.”
Nkama, however, said that some of the possible solutions to reverse the brain drain and increase the retention of medical doctors and dentists included increasing wages.
Others, he said, are improvement in welfare packages, payment of rural allowance for doctors, equipping health facilities, improvement in public infrastructure, increase in retirement age for doctors and other health professionals.
According to the minister, some of the possible solutions to reverse the brain drain and increase the retention of medical doctors and dentists included increasing wages, adding that the Buhari administration is considering special funding for the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, to assist in training specialists, the Minister of State for Health, has hinted.
He said that such measure are especially expedient to arrest the level of brain drain in the medical field, even as he said that the Federal Ministry of Health is seeking to collaborate with the college to rapidly deploy simulation equipment and support the proposed regional training centres to strengthen residency training.
In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said that the government, through the Federal Ministry of Health embarked on building and equipping molecular laboratories in all federal tertiary hospitals.
He noted that the infrastructure would help to enhance the capacity to diagnose diseases.