Health workers have expressed displeasure over the state of the country’s healthcare sector, urging the Federal government to employ more medical personnel to cushion the effect Brian drain in the sector.
The health experts argued that the high rate of migration of Nigerian medical practitioners to seek employment abroad has placed the nation’s health system on the brink of collapse.
They made the remark during a summit – Professor Adewale Musa Olomu (PAMO) Health Leadership Summit, an initiative of Wellness Africa Foundation (WAF), held at Ayerose village in Obafemi-Owode Local government, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital yesterday.
The Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Pro. Adewale Musa-Olomu who was the Chief host of the event, stressed the need for the government to employ more medical doctors in various health facilities in the country against the deficit.
Musa-Olomu, who was represented by Dr. Tolulope Soyannwo, Consultant Public Health Physician at FMC, Abeokuta, argued that supply of equipment for health workers to work with will discourage personnel from relocating abroad.
He said “Government should employ more medical personnel. We also need more equipment to work with”.
Also, the WAF’s Programme Director, Dr Omotola Akinmolayan, in her address stressed that 13,609 healthcare workers left Nigeria for the UK between 2021 and 2022, adding that 2,000 trained doctors leave Nigeria annually to seek employment abroad.
Akinmolayan, who was citing the 2022 National Statistics of the United Kingdom, mentioned poor remuneration, poor infrastructure, economic instability and high inflation as well as reduced manpower within the health sector as factors informing the ‘japa’ decision.
This, according to the health expert, has led to increased clinical workload for other health workers who are left behind, adding that the exodus of highly skilled medical practitioners is resulting in a shortage of skilled healthcare workers in the nation.
Her words “The undeniable truth is that our nation’s healthcare sector is standing on the brink of collapse. Our hospitals operate with fewer staff and the burden on those of us remaining increases each day. The shortage of healthcare professionals has reached a critical threshold, overwhelming our hospitals and clinics, rendering them unable to provide the standard of care our fellow citizens deserve. Our healthcare system is stretched thin, and our fellow health workers are caught in a cycle of overwork and burnout.”
On his part, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ogun state chapter, Dr Ashimi appealed to the federal government to recreate the same kind of healthcare system abroad in Nigeria and create an environment where necessary equipment is available.
“The honest truth is that those at the helm of affairs know what the problem is. They travel abroad, they know the system that they meet. All they need to do is to recreate the same kind of system in Nigeria. Where the health workers get enough pay for what they work for”, he said.