Nigerian Medical experts have cried out over the high rate of personnel decline in the health sector as a result of migration to other countries and to other sectors of the economy.
The medical experts made it known at a four-day Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria(MDCAN) National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
They called on the policy makers to change some certain aspects of policies that will address the deplorable conditions of healthcare sector in Nigeria.
Speaking at the meeting, the National President of MDCAN Professor Kenneth Ozoilo, said the COVID-19 pandemic itself has laid bare the gaping deficiencies in the health sector, resulting from years of neglect and chronic underfunding.
He noted that unfortunately the sector has not seen a significant investment of a lasting nature which will reverse the old order and drive meaningful improvement.
Therefore, he said, the country has continued to lose highly skilled manpower, both young and old, at an alarming rate, and with little or no mitigating effort from the government.
“I am sure that of everyone here today, neither knows a colleague who has migrated, one who is planning to do so. These challenges are further complicated by serious economic challenges and a deteriorating security situation. As numerous and herculean as these problems are, the onus is still on us to chart a path forward for our profession and the health sector as we deliberate on these and other weighty issues in the course of this NEC meeting,” Ozoilo said.
In his remarks, a medical expert and consultant, Professor Nuhu K. Dakum, said few years ago, Nigeria has about 85, 000 registered doctors working in the country but that it only about 45,000 or less that are working in the country currently.
“Most of the doctors trained in the country have left. And with the COVID-19 outbreak, most countries are requiring more doctors, nurses and other health workers to work for them. So many doctors are now writing exams to leave this country and the next few months or there about huge doctors are going to leave this country,” he said.
As a result, he said, the nation has very few doctors that cannot be able to give the needed and adequate health care services, adding that the situation has also brought out more mortality rates which, and the effect is not only on the healthcare system but the economy as well.
The 2021 MDCAN NEC meeting has the theme: “Healthcare Delivery in the Face of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases”.