Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) has raised the alarm that Nigerian medical system might faces professional crisis due to massive exodus of medical doctors from the country.
The Association said it has over 80,000 registered medical doctors in its database but, regrettably, less than 50 percent of them currently practice in Nigeria.
It said that record also confirmed that no fewer than 12 Nigerian medical doctors leave Nigeria weekly for greener pastures in US, UK, Canada and other developed countries including African countries, due poor working conditions and other unhealthy labour practices in Nigeria.
Its Chairman in FCT, Dr. Michael Olarewaju, told journalists at an event to herald 2018 annual health week in Abuja, that it has assumed precarious situation that need urgent attention from all relevant bodies.
The mass exodus, he added, has also led to significant decrease in doctor-patient ratio, thus denying Nigerians opportunity for quality health care services.
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He said, “We must know that relocation of one medical doctor from Nigeria affects over 5,000 citizens that could have benefitted from his or her medical expertise. The relocation automatically deny thousands of patients access to quality health care from a trusted medical practitioner.
“There are indications that Africa losses $2 billion annually, to medical tourism and medical brain drain, and Nigeria contribute the larger percentage of the medical tourists.”
Meanwhile, the ARD General Secretary, Dr. Roland Aigbovo, thanked FCT administration for their financial and logistics support which has resulted in improved health care services to residents.
He however appealed to the Administration to quicken action on the payment of the months of skipping arrears being owed health workers in FCT, as captured in recently signed 2018 FCT budget.
ARD health week is an annual event for the medical doctors to reach out to Nigerians with goodwill as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS).
It is also an opportunity for them to strengthen the capacity of members and smoothen existing relationship with employers.