The Nigerian Medical Association says Nigeria is now battling with its worst situation of brain drain in history as no fewer than 10,296 Nigerian-trained doctors are currently practicing in United Kingdom.
Dr. Uche Ojinmah, the National President of the association, raised the concern on Monday at a news briefing.
He spoke on this among other issues at the briefing to mark the 2022 Physicians’ Week in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Ojinmah, represented by Dr ,Wale Lasisi, the NMA Chairman in Oyo State, said: “Currently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
“While we are losing our human resources to health in geometric progression, Lassa Viral Hemorrhagic fever, Malaria, COVID, Ebola, Marburg and so on are still very much available in the face of worsening incidences of Systemic Hypertension with or without complications, Diabetes mellitus with or without complications, osteoarthritis and so on.
“We call on our governments, at all levels, to quickly declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health sector for the sake of its citizens.”
Ojinmah also expressed dissatisfaction over the welfare of members amidst lack of facilities and infrastructure.
He said: “Let me inform you all that Nigerian doctor is poorly paid, overworked, lack necessary work tools and had become a target for kidnapping.
“We, as Nigerian doctors, have been taken from the lofty heights of nobility to nothingness by the neglect and possible disdain for the health sector by successive governments.
“The penchant of state governments for seizing or slashing our salaries and paying it piecemeal at their convenience, without interest, has become subject of folklore and hence, cannot be allowed to continue.
“On the need to review CONMESS, let me inform you that the ball is now in the court of the governments and they are foot-dragging.
“Let no one take our civility for weakness as we shall do all within the limits of legality to protect the interest of Nigerian doctors, while the governments continue in their ‘search’ for obvious reasons behind medical brain drain.”
The association president sent condolences to citizens affected by the flooding in some parts of the country.
He said that the association had shelved the national opening ceremony of its Physicians’ Week slated to hold in Bayelsa State due to the incident.
Ojinmah said: “We pray for a quick resolution and recovery.
“We call on our governments at different levels to work together in helping victims to recover quickly.
“We call on the Federal Government to actively initiate measures to avert another flooding.
“This is one flood too many in our recent history as a nation.
“We say no more floods while we watch.”
Lasisi, in his capacity as the state NMA Chairman, urged the state government to implement the proposed hazard allowance for doctors working at the state level and for those in the private sector.