Editor’s Observe: Tanimola Ovolabi is a Senior Registrar, Division of Epidemiology and Group Well being, College of Ilorin Educating Hospital. As a part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ‘Residency and Postgraduate Coaching Posting’ signed with the Division of Epidemiology and Group Well being, College of Ilorin Educating Hospital to construct the capability of resident medical doctors in public well being to conduct proof A Roop-based advocacy, Dr. Owolabi spent two weeks with the Nigeria Well being Watch staff.

My good friend, Dr Babatunde turned down a job provide on the Federal Medical Heart and moved to the UK (UK) two weeks after passing his remaining exams in household medication. This was after spending at the least six to seven years in a residency coaching program. I could not fault his determination to go away – similar to I would not blame any physician who determined to go away – as a result of clearly, he is in a spot the place he has to ‘work effectively’ All needed help will likely be given. Nonetheless, I sympathize with the sufferers he has left behind who can now not profit from his newly acquired expertise.

Babatunde began this system with seven different medical doctors from his establishment, all of whom had been coaching to turn out to be household medical doctors. We later realized that 5 of those folks had been planning to go away the nation as quickly as they accomplished their coaching programme.

One other colleague moved from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia in the midst of his skilled exams. Though this was his third try, when he received a proposal to work in Saudi Arabia, he didn’t hesitate to skip the examination and go forward. Ultimately, with their new pay upgrades they will now write overseas medical exams that qualify them to apply in Canada or the USA. Once we chatted final week, he stated that being away from his household was powerful, however he did not remorse it.

The UK and the USA are the highest two international locations wherein Nigerian medical doctors to migrate. In line with knowledge obtained from the Common Medical Council of the UK, the entire variety of Nigeria-trained medical doctors working within the nation stood at 8,983 as of November 2021.

however why are they leaving

Whereas there are numerous the explanation why my colleagues are pursuing the golden escape to different international locations, financial incentives are a significant one.

When your landlord begins stalking you since you are behind in your hire or when you need to beg the proprietor of your kids’s college to present you extra time to pay their charges, ‘greener pastures’ The provide to maneuver in could be fairly tempting.

There may be additionally an absence of satisfactory medical gear. Dr Babatunde instructed me he now has the privilege of dealing with gear he had beforehand solely examine however had by no means seen as had been frequent in emergency rooms within the UK. The information hole was additionally important.

In line with a 2017 survey by NOIPols and Nigeria Well being Watch on the migration of Nigerian medical medical doctors, elements that “push” medical doctors to go away Nigeria and transfer overseas embody excessive taxes and deductions from pay, low work satisfaction and poor pay and Contains emoluments. So that they had been “pulled” to maneuver to international locations the place they had been assured higher amenities and dealing atmosphere, increased remuneration, profession development {and professional} development and higher high quality of life.

affect on nation

The lack of human sources to well being considerably compromises the flexibility of the Nigerian well being sector to supply high quality well being care. In line with the World Well being Group (WHO), Nigeria at present has a doctor-to-patient ratio of 4 medical doctors for each 1000 sufferers. That is utterly insufficient in comparison with the usual specification of 1 physician for each 600 sufferers.

A resident physician in my hospital collapsed within the theater after being on a weekend name for 72 hours. This is without doubt one of the the explanation why the Resident Docs Affiliation at my heart began two warning strikes this 12 months to push for extra medical doctors to be recruited on the centre.

Medical tourism has additionally flourished, as insufficient manpower, low workers morale, poorly geared up hospitals and an absence of specialised care drive sufferers to hunt options overseas, even once they can barely afford it.

my two cents

Migration of medical doctors and certainly different cadres of human sources to well being isn’t a brand new subject and a few suggestive ideas have been proposed to handle the problem. Apart from these, here is my two cents.

In line with the Sustainable Improvement Report 2022, if Nigeria is to realize Sustainable Improvement Objective (SDG) 3, which goals to enhance good well being and well-being by 2030, the nation should handle the ‘massive challenges’. Specializing in growing the variety of healthcare staff within the nation will help enhance our skill to realize SDG 3.

The introduction of the Medical Residency Coaching Fund (MRTF) by the federal authorities was a very good transfer. Nonetheless, the federal government wants to indicate higher dedication by paying the cash on time as yearly medical doctors threatened to go on strike earlier than they had been paid. There may be additionally a necessity for an upward evaluate in view of the latest improve in examination price. On the similar time, consideration also needs to be paid to these whose coaching could require them to go overseas for his or her specialization.