No fewer than 700 medical doctors leave the country every year for greener pastures, Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has said.
A statement made available to Daily Post in Calabar said “Nigeria is presently far behind the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended doctor to population ratio, with 35, 000 doctors practising in a country with a population of more than 170 million people.
This is a far cry from the recommended ratio of one doctor to 600 people. It is estimated that about 500-700 medical doctors leave the country annually in search of greener pastures. There is, therefore, an urgent need to institute measures to increase the number of medical personnel produced in the country while efforts are also intensified to curb brain drain to other countries.”
The statement signed by President of the group, Prof. Ngim E. Ngim and its Secretary-General, Dr. Affiong Ibanga regretted that the health-care system in the country was currently fragmented with inter-professional disharmony, which ultimately led to unsatisfactory health indices and treatment outcomes.
“This needs to be addressed and the health system made to work seamlessly to provide increased coverage and excellent comprehensive health services to all citizens devoid of all colourations”, the group said.
It further regretted that the inadequate and mal-distribution of human resource for health were age-long problems that should be addressed by improved work place satisfaction and remuneration to stem the tide of the present exodus to greener pastures.
According to the group, “Dilapidated and poorly maintained health infrastructures that dot the length of our nation need to be addressed in line with international best practices for optimal health service delivery. Provision of adequate facilities for diagnosis and the treatment of health conditions especially cancer.
Our hospitals need to be given top priority by the government. Public-Private Partnership would be useful in this regard. There is also need to migrate to digital health information management system in our public hospitals to enhance security of patient’s medical records, teaching and research.
Nigeria has continued to lose millions of Dollars on medical tourism to other countries on account of this. It is also vital to consider special funding vehicles to private medical practitioners to expand and equip their facilities to complement the public health institutions.”