The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has decried the increasing number of unemployed doctors in Nigeria in spite of high level of brain drain of medical practitioners.
The Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni, made the assertion on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
“Brain drain is part of what is contributing to the shortage of medical staff in the nation’s hospitals.
“The association, looking into this, realises that in spite of the fact that we have this brain drain, we still have lots of doctors that are jobless.
“We really need to critically look into why we are short-staffed and still have jobless doctors.
“It has become very important that we bring together stakeholders to look into this issue,” Mr Oseni said.
The NMA chairman also decried the practice where retired doctors were not replaced with the young doctors through employment to keep the sector vibrant.
Mr Oseni said: “Government should collate the number of doctors we have in the service and apportion a particular number to each health facility.
“It should give automatic replacement power to the Lagos State Health Service Commission, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, and the primary care centres to replace those workers once they retire.
“It is not enough to spend money on facilities and ignore the manpower, because those structures and equipment will not use themselves.
“For as long as there is that disparity, we cannot get the best from the healthcare delivery.”
He said that it had become necessary to reorganise the nation’s healthcare system where welfare around the trained health personnel was improved and their ability to render services bettered.
According to him, this will encourage those who have travelled out of the country to come back and train those in the country.
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“It is not every doctor who leaves the country that goes to work abroad; some go for further study.
“However, when they finish their training and realise the conditions or circumstances at the homefront is not conducive, they stay back.
“We need to create avenue for them to be able to render these services.
“We have lots of doctors in Diaspora, who were primarily trained in this country and are actually doing very well.
“It is important that we convert this brain drain to brain training,“ the NMA chairman said.