The Federal Government has noted that Nigeria has enough doctors to stem the brain drain in the healthcare sector, stating that the country is producing 3000 doctors annually, which is enough to contain the less than 1000 that leave Nigeria annually.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday in Abuja during a media conference, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The Minister added that there is no embargo on employing doctors, citing that the supply of doctors means Nigeria won’t have a shortage.
What the minister is saying
The Minister stated that there is no embargo on employing doctors, adding that “Because there is a Civil Service regulation, there are processes before doctors are employed.”
“We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country, and the number leaving is less than 1,000.
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“It is just that the employment process needs to be smoothened,” he said.
He added the ministry was working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service to use the ‘One-for-One’ employment strategy so that if one doctor or nurse resigns to go abroad, another one is employed.
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“So, if we have one replacement then you are not likely to have shortage.
“But that has been worked out because the Head of Service had the experience that in the past when one person goes, they use the opportunity to take three and those others may not even be people who are required.
“We want to use this policy so that we can reduce shortages and have our personnel back in our hospitals,” he said.
The FG also noted that two weeks ultimatum given by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) for the Federal Government to meet the demands of the association or risk an industrial action was being looked into.
Resident doctors urged FG to implement the payment of the new hazard allowance and arrears stipulated as at December 22, 2021.
Dr Deborah Bitrus-Oghoghorie of the Department of Hospital Services said its mainly financial issues which the ministry could not solve on its own. She said that the issues are being resolved with the collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to avert a strike.
In case you missed it
Recall Nairametrics reported last week that the Nigerian Medical Association warned that the brain drain in the health sector may someday force Nigeria to import medical doctors.
This was stated by Oyo State NMA Chairman, Dr. Ayotunde Fasunla, in Ibadan the official opening of the 2022 scientific conference, titled: ‘National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites’.