Nigerian medical doctors are resigning their appointments at a frightening pace and seeking better opportunities abroad, the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, said Thursday in Lagos.
The revelation was made by the Chairman of the union Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, who canvassed for a complete revamp of the health sector with better funding and infrastructure to check the exodus.
Odusote said at least 40,000 of the 75,000 registered Nigerian doctors are presently practicing their trade outside the shores of Nigeria while over thousands of those in the country are in the process of migrating abroad.
“The health crisis in Nigeria is unprecedented as the mass exodus hits an alarming proportion. Already, it takes a new patient two to three hours to see a doctor.
“Over 100 doctors have resigned from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, this year; about 800 doctors resigned from Lagos State hospitals in the last two years, and over 50 in November alone.
“Kebbi State has been unable to employ a single doctor in two years despite multiple adverts for employment; over 200 doctors and nurses have resigned from Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital this year.
“Seventy per cent of Nigerian doctors are making plans to leave for foreign lands and are taking exams to that effect,” he said.
The chairman said that 236 doctors wrote primaries for West Africa College of Physicians in 2017 to gain admission into Nigerian teaching hospitals.
He said that in 2012, more than 1,000 doctors had written the same exams and 660 of them had written the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board Examination (PLAB) to practice in the UK.
“Our healthcare system has been neglected for an extended period, evidenced by lack of funding, under-supply, inefficiency, decrepit equipment, poor quality, needless deaths and unhappy workforce.
“Today, many of the country’s general hospitals, with the exception of those in Lagos, are not in good condition and are breeding grounds for infectious diseases.
“Many also do not have sufficient beds; so, corridors are turned to sleeping wards.
“The nation needs 303,333 medical doctors now and 10,605 new doctors annually to provide good quality patient care,” he added.