- Nigerian health facilities, including government-run hospitals, are reportedly recalling retired nurses and doctors
- Sources said there is an acute shortage of health workers in government and private hospitals in Nigeria
- The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors blamed the poor treatment of health workers by the government for the situation
About 4,000 doctors are about to leave Nigeria in the next month, according to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The association expressed dissatisfaction with the treatment of medical workers by the Nigerian government, causing a mass exodus of health workers from the country, as per a report by Vanguard.
UK report mass arrival of nurses from Nigeria
The departure of medical workers from Nigeria has prompted federal and state-owned health facilities to recall and, in some instances, recruit retired doctors and nurses to plug the gap.
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The nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK says there is an increase in the number of trained nurses departing Nigeria, the majority of whom are under 30 years old.
According to the UK-based Council, many nurses from Nigeria are settling around London and other parts of the UK.
Data from the council said more than 7,000 Nigeria-trained nurses have moved to the UK between March 2021 and 2022.
Punch reports that the migration of nurses and other health workers in Nigeria has placed an enormous burden on remaining practitioners, saying there are about 1,600 patients to one nurse.
Nigerian private and government-run hospitals have decided to recall retired medical workers to fill in the gap left by fleeing medical personnel.
LASUTH denies shortage of health assistants
Lagos State Teaching Hospital has denied employing health workers such as ward assistants. A source at the hospital told Legit.ng that the facility is desperately looking for assistants to bathe and lift patience from the bed.
NARD President Dr. Emeka Innocent Orji said 4,000 doctors are primed to leave Nigeria and about 2,000 have been lost to other countries, asking the government to stop the drift to avert a looming disaster in the health sector.
”What government should do is to try to find out why and then address it. That is what a serious government does because the truth is that it is a very serious problem in the health sector as we speak and we believe it is an emergency and that if nothing is done urgently to arrest the drift, we would come to a stage where we won’t have doctors in our hospitals.
“Over the past two years or so, we have lost over 2,000 doctors to the outside world and on average, we lose between 100 and 160 doctors every month.
“We are not just talking about the low-level staff here, we are talking about the highly specialized doctors leaving the country. And when you undertake studies to know why they are leaving, 80 per cent of them responded that it is because of poor remuneration.
“The salary structure we are using now came into being in 2009. That is over 13 years ago and part of the agreement we had with the government then was that it should be reviewed after five years. And that five years was in 2014.”
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Legit.ng reported that Italy harbours the most extensive population of Nigerians in Europe, with three million recorded from the island of Sicily in the deep south and Sardinia, across to Rome in the middle and Tirano in the far north. The figure does not include undocumented Nigerians.
But the United Kingdom, with multiple advantages, is trying to meet up with Italy in wooing Nigerians who have documented links with the Brits. London and the English midlands are the favourite places for Nigerians.
TheNiche reports that some 9,189 Nigerian doctors are already employed in the country, 805 of them approved by the British General Medical Council (BGMC) between July and December 25, 2021.