The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, says the country has lost over 9,000 Medical Practitioners to the Western communities between 2016 and 2018 which now manifests as brain drain.
NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah stated this at the Maiden Annual Lecture of the Association in Abuja on Monday.
Ujah raised concern over the brain drain challenge in the health sector.
The NMA President described as unacceptable the shortage of manpower as the country has doctor-to-population ratio of 1 doctor to 5000 patients.
Lamenting that the development was negatively impacting the nation’s health system, Prof. Ujah, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Medical Science, Otukpo, said Africa, including Nigeria, was encountering a health workforce crisis.
Noting that human resources for health, which according to him, represented “one of the six pillars of a strong and efficient health system”, was critical to the improvement the health system, the professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said a huge amount Nigerians were injecting into medical tourism was weakening Nigeria’s economy.
He said the impact of the development on the economy was a reduction of funding and investment in the health sector, widening infrastructural deficits and the growing distrust in the Nigerian health system by the Nigerian public.
Also, the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora advocated sustenance of the annual project to find pragmatic solutions on brain drain and other challenges bedeviling the nation’s health sector.
Similarly, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, represented by Dr. Chris Piwuna expressed worry over lack of medical equipment at some colleges of medicine across the country.
The topic of this year’s lecture is brain drain and medical tourism: the twin evil in Nigeria’s health system.
The Maiden Annual Lecture of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, is the first of its kind which brought health experts to brainstorm on burning health related and national issues towards influencing policies and practices particularly as it relates to quality healthcare in the country.
Medical Practitioners NMA