The Nigerian Medical Association (NEMA) has said the country is contending with the worst situation of brain drain, as no fewer than 10,296 Nigeria-trained doctors are currently practising in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Uche Ojinmah, the association’s National President, raised the concern on Monday at a press briefing to mark the 2022 Physicians’ Week in Ibadan.
Represented by the Oyo State NMA Chairman, Dr Wale Lasisi, Ojinmah said, “Currently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
“While we are losing our human resources to health in geometric progression, Lassa Viral Hemorrhagic fever, Malaria, COVID-19, Ebola, Marburg, and so on, are still very much available in the face of worsening incidences of systemic hypertension with or without complications, diabetes mellitus with or without complications, osteoarthritis, and so on.
“We call on our governments at all levels, to quickly declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health sector for the sake of its citizens.”
Ojinmah also expressed dissatisfaction over the welfare of members amidst a lack of facilities and infrastructure.
He added, “Let me inform you all that a Nigerian doctor is poorly paid, overworked, lacks necessary work tools, and has become a target for kidnapping.
“We, as Nigerian doctors, have been taken from the lofty heights of nobility to nothingness by the neglect and possible disdain for the health sector by successive governments.
“The penchant of state governments for seizing or slashing our salaries and paying them piecemeal at their convenience, without interest, has become a subject of folklore and, hence, cannot be allowed to continue.”