The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has lamented on the low turnout of human resources needed in the country’s healthcare system. He explained that the mass exodus of doctors from Nigeria is a real cause for alarm.
President Buhari expressed his concern in public at the second National Health Summit organised by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). The event, tagged "Patient-Centred Care", was held in Abuja.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who read the statement on behalf of the presidency, said:
"Nigeria's health human resources needs are real. We have a situation where human resource experts, trained and skilled at great cost to the nation, (roughly estimated by the Nigeria Postgraduate Medical College at N70 million per fellow), are lost from our health system by migration to already developed countries,” Ehanire stated.
"Today, we are experiencing the migration of medical doctors to pastures some may consider being greener. This is worrisome to stakeholders in the health sector and we welcome practical suggestions for finding solutions to this problem."
In the statement read by Dr Osagie, President Buhari said the Federal Government was interested in opening up conversations with medical practitioners to address the situation.
"The Federal Government would like to open up a conversation with doctors and nurses, to study ways of retaining our skilled workforce, trained at great expense to the state, as determined by the Postgraduate Medical College," he added.
Dr Faduyile, the NMA President, stressed that the exit of doctors from Nigeria has not been all negative, because the country's economy has heavily benefited from the activities and investments of Nigerian doctors practising abroad. The NMA, therefore, advocated for the presidency to take a balanced approach in tackling the problem.