Medical Doctors’ Migration: How Nigeria Loses N841 Million Per Exiting Doctor
The Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), South West, Dr. Babatunde Olaniyi Rosiji says for every medical doctor that leaves Nigeria to seek greener pastures outside the country, Nigeria stands to lose a huge sum of N841 million when the years of service of such personnel is calculated.
Speaking during an interview in a Raypower FM, Rosiji said it costs US$36,410 to train a medical graduate, which amounts to N25.5 million. He explained that most of these doctors leave Nigeria in their 30s after graduation and they are expected to invest about 30 years of service in their practice.
Rosiji said the result of a recent poll conducted on final year medical students indicated that over 80% of them are already undergoing medical attention in preparation to leave Nigeria and go abroad. He urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the health sector, adding that though the 4.7% of the annual budget allocated to the heath sector in the new budget was applaudable, it was still lower than the international standards recommended.
Rosiji said Nigeria has 9,803 citizens to be attended to by one doctor, contrary to the international standard of one doctor to 600 people.
“Since 1963, Nigeria has produced 93,000 doctors and Nigeria has 37 medical schools,” he said, adding that Nigeria needs 103 years to meet up with the one doctor to 600 people expectation, assuming the annual production continues at that pace.
He further disclosed that 10,290 Nigerian doctors are currently practicing in the United Kingdom and that 1,300 Nigerian trained doctors left Nigeria for UK this year while over 5,000 pharmacists have left the country. He said such movements create distortions in the system as the coming days will see some doctors in the state government payroll move up to the federal government service while those in private hospitals are likely to move to state government service.
To address these challenges, Rosiji called for parity in doctors’ pay package and emphasized the need to give incentives to doctors serving in rural areas. He urged government to fix security to avoid a situation where health workers are adopted by gunmen.
There is need for social security and social justice,” he stated.
The Chairman of Kaduna State chapter of NMA, Dr. Madaki Sheyirin had last week, declared that over 10,000 medical doctors had left Nigeria within the last seven years.