No less than 200 Nigerian doctors have secured their license to practise in the United Kingdom (UK) within a period of two months. This is in spite of the Federal Government’s move to stop the exodus of health workers in the country.
The General Medical Council (GMC), a body that licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK granted the Nigerian doctors their license to work in June and July 2022 after meeting the necessary requirements.
With this development, the number of Nigeria-trained doctors in the UK now stands at 9,976. It is, however, pertinent to note that this figure does not include other doctors of Nigerian origin who did not undergo medical training in Nigeria.
Nigerian doctors amidst worsening brain drain of health workers in Nigeria
After India and Pakistan, Nigeria takes the third position in the list of foreign doctors working in the UK. This is in spite of the fact that the West African most populous nation suffers from an acute shortage of health workers.
With a population that houses more than 200 million people, NOI, in a 2018 report, revealed that 88% of Nigerian doctors are considering work opportunities abroad. This may, however, not be unconnected to the worsening economic indicators.
Speaking on why Nigerian doctors prefer to work abroad, the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Alfa Yusuf cited “poor remuneration, poor working facilities, insecurities including assault on doctors and burnout from overwork, among others.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has continued to call on the Federal Government to provide a thriving environment for doctors and health workers to curb the massive brain drain. This is as doctors in Nigeria under the aegis of NARD recently issued a two-week ultimatum to the government over poor welfare and failure to implement the new hazard allowance rate that was signed in December 2021.