The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kebbi State chapter has expressed concern that in less than a year, no fewer than 10 consultants left the state for greener pasture abroad.
The association’s Chairman, Dr Murtala Muhammad-Dandare made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The Chairman stated this during the Scientific Conference tagged Physicians’ Week 2022 organised by the NMA, Kebbi State chapter held in Birnin Kebbi.
According to him,”The way medical doctors and other health personnel are leaving this country on daily bases is very scaring. Here in Kebbi State, in less than one year, over 10 consultants left the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin Kebbi.
“A consultant is the one that trains the younger doctors. This is a very serious threat not only to Kebbi State but to Nigeria as a whole. Government and all other relevant stakeholders need to come together to do the needful towards addressing this problem.”
He recalled that just last week their National President, Dr. Roland Ogema announced that about 900 doctors left Nigeria for overseas in just less than a month, assuring that the case was highly alarming.
According to him, the medical doctors that decided to stay in Nigeria are overstretched, decrying that WHO specified a ration of one doctor to 600 people but in Nigeria, one doctor is to 6,191 people, grossly inadequate.
The Chairman said the essence of the conference was to bring experts in medical profession together to brainstorm on issues related to healthcare delivery and how to improve upon.
Also in an interview, the keynote address presenter, Prof. Nasiru Muhammad, a professor of Ophthalmology from Usman Danfodio University (UDU), Sokoto said the conference, which was an annual event, focused on the Nigerian health system “at this critical point in the country’s history of democratic transition.”
The Don in his paper presented titled: “Nigeria Health Delivery System and the 2023 Democratic Transition A Time to Change the Narrative.”
Nasiru, who is also a Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist (sabbatical), FMC, Birnin Kebbi, observed that Nigeria possessed great potentials but unable to put such potentials to good use.
He lamented that if Nigeria’s human development index could be 0.36 meaning a person born in this country would only be able to attain his potentials by just 36 per cent, adding that the figure did not represent the teaching of the country’s two major religions.
The Ophthalmologist pointed out that health ministries saddled with responsibilities of regulating health sector were focussing more on public facilities allowing the private unchecked.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000 conducted a worldwide study to look at health systems and their performances, so, one of the key findings was that ministries of health of most countries across the globe focused more on what is happening in the public sector.
“They are supposed to regulate the private sector too, they gave them permission to open, to see people and they should also pay supervisory visits to those private facilities to check what they are doing. But the finding showed that the focused is more on public facilities allowing the private on their own.
“In most countries, intervention go to private facilities more than the public, meaning most of the healthcare provided is not being monitored by the ministries of health, who supposed to be the main stakeholders of the country’s health system,” he wondered.