Brain Drain: Health Minister Begs Doctors To Stop Leaving Nigeria

The Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama has appealed to health professionals from leaving the country as he reiterated the Federal Governments assurance that measures are being deployed to address the brain drain in Nigeria.

Joseph spoke with reporters on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta, Lagos.

He inaugurated the Orthopedic and Trauma Centre, Molecular Building Complex, Oxygen gas plant, Clinical Training Centre, and Ultra-Modern Theatre.

Ekumankama admitted that the mass relocation of health personnel was a problem and was worrisome.

“The greatest challenge facing the sector presently is the doctors and nurses leaving the country”, NAN quoted him saying.”

The minister appealed to them to remain in Nigeria to see the efforts of the government.

“As a sacrifice, I encourage them to stay back and help us revitalize the health sector. We have witnessed that today with what is on ground in this hospital,” he said.

Ekumankama added that the government, in the last three years, released 100 percent of health budget.

The Guardian in 2021 reported that the major cause for the decline in the number of doctors in Nigeria is the migration of Nigerian doctors abroad. It is estimated that at least 2,000 medical doctors leave Nigeria yearly and no fewer than 5,407 Nigerian trained doctors are currently working with the British National Health Service in the United Kingdom,

The president of the Nigerian medical association, Dr. Francis Faduyile also noted that a high rate of insecurity, unemployment, low remuneration, bad roads, and poor healthcare system are some of the reasons why doctors are leaving the country in search of greener pastures. He noted that 75,000 Nigerian doctors were registered with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), but over 33,000 have left the country. 

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