The Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has stated that six out of 10 doctors are leaving the country because of her poor economy.
NARD President, Dr. Dare Ishaya stated this, as he submitted that only 12,297 resident doctors in both the Federal and state tertiary health institutions are still left in the country.
“As of the last time we issued the questionnaire, we found that out of 10 resident doctors, six of them are planning to leave or have the intention to leave.
“The statistics we had then was in December 2021. So, it’s either they are planning to leave or they have thought of leaving,” he was quoted as saying.
Maintaining that Nigeria’s poor economy is the basic reason doctors prefer to work abroad than to work in their home country, Ishaya stated: “As we speak, I am aware that a lot of my colleagues are working towards leaving the country, and there are a lot of factors responsible for that. The push factor is majorly the economy.
“Of course, you will agree with me that we are having inflation in the country and the rate at which our naira is being devalued is alarming. If you compare our pay with the pay where most of these health workers go, you will discover that what we earn here is not up to one-tenth of what they get practising there.
“As long as these factors exist, our members and other health workers will continue to seek greener pastures except if things are done to reverse them.”
‘The brain drain for doctors may worsen’
Should the doctors continue to leave willfully, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) warned of impending distress in the health sector, saying the brain drain being witnessed in the country would worsen.
“From 1960 till today, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has registered about 80,000 doctors in Nigeria, and some have come in to practise in Nigeria. You will know that from 1960 till date, some have died, some are no longer practising, some are incapacitated, some have joined politics and a reasonable number of about 20,000 to 25,000 are practising outside the country.
“So, by the last analysis we had, we had between 20,000 and 25,000 doctors in Nigeria, and this number is supposed to take care of 200 million people.
“So, we have a ratio of one doctor to between 4,000 and 5,000 patients. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended one doctor for 600 patients,” NMA President, Dr Uche Ojinmah said as he explained why the brain drain should be addressed.