- The NMA has countered the statement made by Chris Ngige that he is not bothered about medical doctors leaving Nigeria because the country has surplus
- The association’s president, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, said Nigeria has a gross shortage of doctors
- Faduyile pointed out that data shows that there is more premium placed on health in those countries where the doctors are leaving for, than in Nigeria
- The NMA boss called for improved government funding for the health sector
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has reacted to the comment made by the minister of labour and productivity, Chris Ngige, that he is not bothered about medical doctors leaving Nigeria because the country has surplus.
Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, president of the association, which is the umbrella body of medical doctors in the country, said Ngige’s comment is unfortunate, as it’s not true, Daily Trust reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Faduyile pointed out that there are many indices used to assess whether a country has adequate number of doctors or not.
He said one of such indices is to compare the country’s doctor to patient ratio to that of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends one doctor to 600 patients.
According to Faduyile, in Nigeria's case, however, the ratio is one doctor to 5,000 people or one doctor to 6,000 people.
He added that the situation could be worse with one doctor to 10, 000 patients, in some areas.
He said: “So it shows that for every 1000 people or patients, we are short by about 10 doctors. So we are grossly in shortage of doctors.
“Again some of the countries that he (Dr Ngige) is saying that doctors are free to go to like the United Kingdom have an average of 2.8 doctors per 1000.
“Meanwhile, Nigeria has about 0.2 per 1000. You can see the disparity yet you are saying that we can actually go to places where they have more than enough.”
According to the NMA president, the data shows that there is more premium placed on health in those countries where the doctors are leaving for, than in Nigeria.
He said: “It is a big issue that we don’t have enough personnel on ground because it has caused a lot of hardships to health management in this country. That is why we have very poor health statistics.
“The maternal mortality rate of Nigeria is one of the worst in the world; same for the infant mortality and the perinatal mortality.
“So the health indices in Nigeria are terribly bad and if we must improve, the government must do more; we must have more personnel in place.”
Fagbuyile called for improved government funding for the health sector in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration which stipulates that 15 percent of the budget be allocated to the sector.
Recall that Legit.ng reported that Dr Chris Ngige said there is nothing wrong with some medical doctors travelling out of Nigeria in search of greener pastures, because the country has enough.
Ngige said he was not worried about Nigerian doctors travelling out of the country for greener pastures.
He said in part: “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.”
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