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Brain drain: Provide incentives to retain health workers, medical consultants tell FG

A doctor holding a patient file A doctor holding a patient file

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has called on the federal government to provide incentives that will keep health workers in the country.

Muhammad Aminu Muhammed, MDCAN president, spoke on Sunday after reading the communique issued at the end of the association’s biennial delegates meeting ( DDM) in Kano.

Muhammed said in a survey conducted two years ago from less than 50 percent of the association’s chapters, it was discovered that about 500 patient doctors had left the country.

He said it would take the country about 10 years to fill the vacuum left behind by the medical personnel.

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“These were professional doctors involved in teaching and nurturing new generation in medical and also training specialists,” he said.

“This migration still continues at an alarming rate.”

Reading the communique, Muhammed said the Nigerian healthcare system is facing myriad challenges that include poor financing, brain drain, and inadequate healthcare facilities.

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The MDCAN president said the government should organise all the necessary stakeholders towards revitalisation and revamping of Nigeria’s healthcare system.

“The challenges of brain drain in the health sector have remained unabated with the migration of highly skilled healthcare professionals not only out of Africa but also to the neighbouring West African countries,” he said.

“Teaching and clinical roles as medical and dental specialists are crucial to the attainment of sustainable developments goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

“The country has continued to produce the finest and highest numbers of clinical experts in sub-Saharan Africa, with our graduates both at the basic and postgraduate levels breaking records worldwide.

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“Medical education is under threat, mainly due to the large number of specialists and trainers migrating to other climes.

“A number of universities presently have less training quota than the manpower and infrastructure in the institution can effectively train.

“The government is urged to, as a matter of urgency, provide holistic solutions to the challenges of brain drain, which should include incentives that encourage retention of the already depleted healthcare human resource in Nigeria.”

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