No fewer than 2,000 medical workers find their way out of the country to developed countries annually to seek greener pastures, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, restated yesterday.
President of the Association, Dr Francis Faduyile stated this in Abakaliki at the annual general conference/delegates meeting of the Association in Abakaliki, on the theme Skill Repatriation in the Health Sector: Turning Nigeria’s Brain Drain to Brain Gain.
Dr Faduyile said: “We believe that this ugly situation can be turned to an advantage, hence the need to bring this to the front burner for discussion and proffer a way out to the country’s advantage.”
He added that politicians in the country do not seem to be worried by the trend because they do not to have the necessary statistics and facts on the matter.
According to him, “without intent at generating further controversy on the matters arising from the unfortunate remark by a senior Federal cabinet member who incidentally or coincidentally doubles as a senior member of the medical profession, it is our firm believe that this gathering would generate further confirmatory statistics and facts that possibly would be enough in convincing those policymakers at critical MDAs of government at all levels including the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, who perhaps are yet to come to reality with the scientifically unambiguous deleterious aftermath of the worsening disparity between the health workforce in general and the population they are serving vis-à-vis the alarming rate of the emigration of these health/medical professionals on health outcomes as reflected by the various morbidity and mortality data.
“Then, they can join us in the clarion call for action and be committed to instituting necessary actions.”
On his part, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, represented by the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Dr Emeka Onwe, said the Federal Government is working hard to end the exodus of medical workers from the country.
Declaring the conference opened, Governor David Umahi promised to continue to support doctors and other health care practitioners in the state.
He said his administration will commence the construction of a new teaching hospital in June for the state university’s medical school in Uburu, noting that his administration built the best virology centre in the South-East.