CEM REPORT | Attending to the issue of medical brain drain in the country, the Federal Government (FG) has allayed fears stating that the health sector has enough doctors to stem the brain drain.
FG noted that about three thousand (3000) doctors are produced in the country annually.
This is according to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Tuesday in Abuja during a media conference, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
The Minister explained that the ratio between medical practitioners relocating aboard and those in the country is quite enormous noting there won’t be a shortage.
He further explained that there is no embargo on recruiting doctors noting that the process needed to be smoothened.
“We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country, and the number leaving is less than 1,000.
“Because there is a Civil Service regulation, there are processes before doctors are employed.
“It is just that the employment process needs to be smoothened,”
He added the ministry was working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service to use the ‘One-for-One’ employment strategy so that if one doctor or nurse resigns to go abroad, another one is employed.
“So, if we have one replacement then you are not likely to have a shortage.
“But that has been worked out because the Head of Service had the experience that in the past when one person goes, they use the opportunity to take three and those others may not even be people who are required.
“We want to use this policy so that we can reduce shortages and have our personnel back in our hospitals.”
Also, the federal government explained that the two weeks ultimatum issued by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) for it to meet the demands of the association or risk an industrial action was being sorted out.
Deborah Bitrus-Oghoghorie an official of the Department of Hospital Services said the rift with resident doctors is mainly financial issues which the ministry could not solve on its own.
She however noted that the issues were currently being resolved with the collaboration of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to avert a strike.
The Resident doctors issued a strike notice while urging FG to implement the payment of the new hazard allowance and arrears stipulated as of December 22, 2021.