- The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, says there is nothing wrong if doctors leave Nigeria for greener pastures
- The minister says there is something wrong with this because the country more than enough medical doctors
- Ngige says when the doctors travel abroad, they earn money and send them back home, which translates into foreign exchange earnings for the country
The minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said there is nothing wrong in some medical doctors travelling out of Nigeria in search of greener pastures because the country has enough.
The minister, who made the statement on Channels Television's Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, April 24, disagreed with the popular notion that the country does not have enough doctors.
Legit.ng notes that Ngige said he was not worried about Nigerian doctors travelling out of the country for greener pastures.
He said: “No, I am not worried (about doctors leaving the country). We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.
“There are surplus in their country and we also have surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. In my area, we have excess.
“Who said we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.”
According to the minister, medical doctors who travelled outside the country to practice come back home to set up medical centres.
He added: “Will you call that brain drain? I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.
“Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the inability of the government to address various health challenges resulted in increasing medical tourism in which Nigeria loses over N400 billion on annual basis.
The disclosure was made on Thursday, April 4, by President Muhammadu Buhari, during the inauguration of Senior Executive Course 41, 2019 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, Plateau state.
According to Buhari, the government had shown strong commitment in the revitalisation of the health sector.
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