The escalating mass migration of doctors and health workers from Nigeria to seek better opportunities abroad has become a pressing concern for the country’s health sector.
Addressing this critical issue, the 2023 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Anambra State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has brought together experts and stakeholders to devise effective solutions to this worrisome trend, which is negatively impacting the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
Under the theme of “Mass Emigration of Doctors and Health Workers: Causes, Challenges, and Solutions,” Dr. Rowland Ojinmah, President of the Nigerian Medical Association, highlighted various factors leading to this brain drain in the medical field. Among the identified reasons are inadequate compensation, high taxation, limited employment opportunities, security concerns, stressful medical education, and insufficient funding of the healthcare sector.
To tackle this pressing issue head-on, Dr. Ojinmah called upon the government to take decisive actions. This includes prioritizing and ensuring adequate funding for the health sector, full implementation of the National Health Act and Medical Residency Training Act, privatization of certain aspects of the healthcare sector, and the establishment of a health sector development bank. Additionally, he emphasized the need to improve remuneration for healthcare workers to encourage them to stay and serve in Nigeria.
Dr. Jane Ezeonu, the Anambra State Chairman of NMA, emphasized the significance of the conference in providing continuing medical education and professional development opportunities. She expressed concern over the detrimental impact of the growing exodus of doctors and health workers on the medical profession, emphasizing the urgent need for remedial actions.
Barrister Theodora Igwegbe, Head of Service, stressed the importance of the conference’s theme in curbing the mass departure of health workers from Nigeria. She highlighted the efforts made by the state government in enhancing healthcare infrastructure, increasing remuneration for healthcare workers, and implementing improved healthcare initiatives to mitigate this distressing trend.
The gathering of medical experts and stakeholders in this conference reflects a united commitment to finding lasting solutions and securing the future of Nigeria’s healthcare system. By addressing the challenges causing the mass migration of health workers, the conference seeks to build a stronger healthcare sector that can attract and retain skilled medical professionals to serve the needs of the nation’s population effectively.