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June 15, 2024
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Nigerian Reps Move to Curb Health Professional Exodus in the Country

The House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions has stated that it is disturbed by the doctor-patient ratio and the exodus of Nigerian doctors to other countries, popularly called “japa.”

The lawmakers have scheduled a public hearing on the bill declaring a state of emergency on health for Monday, the 27th, and Tuesday, the 28th. Over 1,417 medical doctors relocated to the United States and the United Kingdom before the end of last year.

Speaking at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) during an oversight function, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health Institutions, Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji, said that Nigerian doctors are everywhere in UK and US hospitals.

“When you go there, you will see Dr. Abubakar, Dr. Chinedu, Dr. Femi, and so on. They are the ones running the hospitals.

“Since they are going, you can’t stop anyone from going abroad, but as they are going, we must train more doctors for us to export more. Also, make our healthcare system more attractive, the conditions of service more appealing.

“If the nation is to achieve the World Health Organisation’s standard of a 1:600 doctor-patient ratio in the next seven years, massive training of doctors should be a priority now.”

Magaji said that although many Nigerian doctors who left the country are highly demanded overseas, there’s a call for more training and exportation of locally trained medical practitioners to fill the gaps created.

“We are here to perform our constitutional duty of oversight. We have seen what the Hospital is doing with the little funds it is getting. This is one of the best hospitals. We have gone round to see the projects they are doing. These are fantastic jobs the management is doing.

“You can imagine that they are conducting surgery on kidney stones at the rate of N1 million. Going outside the country, I’m very sure you cannot get flight tickets for one million naira. I keep saying that we have more qualified medical doctors in Nigeria and we have no reason to waste resources on foreign medical tourism,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Yusuf Bara Jibrin appealed to the lawmakers for intervention in the area of power service, saying that the hospital’s energy bill runs to about N50m monthly. He also called on the government to address the shortage of medical personnel to deliver more efficiently.

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