Government Must Make Nigeria Attractive to Doctors—NMA
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that the main reason why many doctors flee from the country for greener pastures elsewhere is as a result of poor remuneration and welfare.
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Aniekeme Uwah, said this on Monday during the 2021 Correspondents’ Chapel Week, adding that the increasing human capital flight of doctors from the country will potentially affect the health sector.
Speaking in Uyo on the theme Post-COVID-19 Economy and the Challenges to Ethical Journalism Ahead of 2023 Elections, Mr Uwah said, “So many of our colleagues in Nigeria have moved for greener pasture abroad, and if this is not tackled, the health sector will be highly affected.”
He added that the only way to ensure that medical practitioners stay and practice in their country is to make them see their nation as a place of greener pasture which the government at all levels can actualize by addressing the issue of poor welfare and remuneration.
“The only solution is for government to make adequate budgetary provisions so that doctors and other health workers will be motivated and well remunerated,” Mr Uwar said.
On the other hand, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health Institutions, Mr Paschal Chigozie Obi, has said that little could be done to discourage doctors and health practitioners from fleeing the country.
Mr Obi, who said this on Monday during an oversight visit by the House committee to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, explained that, “We held several meetings with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) and we hands-off when the matter went to court.
“We can’t do anything until the matter is withdrawn from the court because anything we do will be sub judice. So, we can’t interfere in the court process until it is settled. Right now, we are handicapped.”
As the strike action embarked upon by members of NARD lingers, Mr Obi appealed that committee, in collaboration with the executive arm, is doing its best to ensure a reasonable condition for medical professionals in the country.