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Mass brain drain of doctors worries expert

By Uche Obinna

The mass movement of medical doctors from Nigeria seeking for greener pasture in other countries is a source of concern to the medical community, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Dr Joseph Ugboaja, says.

He made his position known in Nnewi, Anambra state, Tuesday.

Dr. Ugboaja described the mass movement of doctors and other health workers to other countries in recent time as an unfortunate development.

“It is really an unfortunate thing because we don’t even have enough doctors for the country. It also has a negative implication for healthcare delivery in the country.

“What I believe we should be asking ourselves is; how did we get here? This honest enquiry will reveal both the remote and immediate causes of this unfortunate situation,” he queried.

Dr. Ugboaja, however, insisted that the government has a lot of role to play in stopping the ugly trend of exodus of not only doctors but healthcare workers to other countries.

“Government should pay more attention to health and commit more resources towards health care development.

“Our health budget hovers around five percent of the total budget which cannot guarantee significant development in the sector.

“So the doctors are frustrated and want to leave for countries with better amenities and remuneration,” he explained.

The decision reached by the African Union in 2001 for countries in region to earmark 15 percent of national budget for health has never been achieved in Nigeria.

Dr. Ugboaja, however, expressed optimism that if the government improves funding for the health sector, the nation may experience a drop in the rate at which the doctors and medical practitioners leave the country.

Written by ExpressDay


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