Nigeria faces dark prospect of medical brain drain, NOIPOLLS survey reveals

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… 8 in 10 Nigerian doctors are seeking work opportunities abroad

THUR, AUGUST 3 2017-theG&BJournal- A new survey conducted by Nigerian Polling organization NOIPolls, in partnership with Nigeria Health Watch and targeted at Nigerian medical doctors, has revealed about 8 out of every 10 (88 percent) medical doctors in Nigeria are currently seeking work opportunities abroad.

The survey reflects the growing the dissatisfaction among practitioners on the attention given to funding of the nation’s health system by the federal government.

The polls suggests that the dissatisfaction cuts across junior, mid and senior level doctors in both public and private medical institutions such as house officers, corps members, medical and senior medical officer, residents, registrars, consultants and medical directors.

High taxes and deduction from salary (98 percent), low work satisfaction (92 percent), poor salaries and emoluments (91 percent) and the huge knowledge gap that exists in the medical practice abroad (47 percent) amongst others were highlighted as the bleak points.

The exodus according to NOIPOLLS, raises the dark “prospect of brain drain in the country’s health sector if nothing is done urgently to curb this rising trend of emigration of healthcare practitioners – physicians, nurses, pharmacist, and laboratory scientists amongst others.”

The polls showed that the United Kingdom and the United States are the top destinations where Nigerian medical doctors seek work opportunities.

“Consequently, many Nigerian doctors are currently registered to write foreign medical exams such as PLAB for the UK (30 percent), USMLE for the United States (30 percent), MCCE for Canada (15 percent), AMC for Australia (15 percent) and DHA for Dubai (10 percent) amongst others,” according to the survey findings.

Nigeria has about 72,000 medical doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, with only approximately 35,000 practicing in Nigeria. The emigration of the Nigerian healthcare workforce, particularly medical doctors has been a lingering problem in the country. According the NOIPOLLS, the findings are critical to the ability of the health system to retain adequate skilled personnel to cope with Nigeria’s growing population.

“Nigeria’s National Population Commission (NPC) has projected current population to be about 182 million at a 3.5% growth rate from the 2006 census. This means we need about 303,333 medical doctors now, and at least 10,605 new doctors annually to join the workforce. Only at this level can we expect good quality patient care that is not compromised by errors occasioned by fatigued and overworked medical doctors,” the survey noted.

 

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