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Health Minister Says To See Doctors Leave Nigeria Is Bad
It is now getting clearer that trained Nigerian doctors leaving for a better part of the world for nice working treatment gives our leaders sleepless moments.
Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, revealed he is not happy that Nigerian doctors are leaving the country for greener pastures. Labour Minister Chris Ngige had recently said Nigeria had more than enough doctors and that those wanting to relocate to other countries in search of greener pastures were free to do so.
But speaking in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, yesterday at the Annual General Conference/Delegates meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association, the health minister decried the increasing rate of brain drain in the health sector.
Adewole, represented by the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Dr Emeka Onwe, said:”I am not particularly happy with the latest trend of doctors leaving the country to other lands for greener pastures. “We shall continue to ensure the welfare of the health workforce is improved. Our effort at centralising the internship posting of newly graduated doctors has received the support of FEC and will be rolled out within the year”.
The minister also decried the inability of several state governments to recruit and keep medical doctors, including specialists, in their secondary and tertiary care hospitals.
“In many cases most local governments’ health facilities do not have a doctor. These are unrelated to poor welfare and remuneration package at various levels amongst other factors”, he said.
Recall that months ago the minister of health ones advised Nigerian doctors protesting for better job pay to go add farming business to their profession.
While answering questions from journalists in a video that has been circulating on social media, the minister was asked why Nigerian doctors have to wait for a long time to get residency training.
In response, the minister casually said that all doctors cannot become specialists and can try their hands at other things like farming or politics. While still failing to answer to question, he said his tailor makes the best gowns despite being a doctor.
He said, “It might sound selfish, but we can’t all be specialists. We can’t. Some will be farmers, some will be politicians.
“The man who sews my gown is a doctor. He makes the best gown. And some will be specialists, some will be GPs, some will be farmers.”