Why young doctors are leaving Nigeria – Postgraduate medical college president - THE SUN
SEPTEMBER 09, 2022
By Job Osazuwa
President of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN), Prof. Akin Osibogun, has given reasons Nigerian young doctors are leaving the country in droves.
At a briefing, yesterday, at Ijanikin, Lagos, to announce the college’s 40th convocation ceremony holding September 15, where the institution will be churning out 416 fellows, 61 doctor of Medicine graduates and 14 in Postgraduate Diploma in Anaesthesia, he lamented that Nigeria already has shortage of doctors and therefore cannot fold its arms and allow the trend to continue.
According to him, certain push and pull factors were responsible for the mass exodus of the medical personnel to developed world. He listed some of the factors as lack of job satisfaction, poor remuneration, shortage of medics in United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia and other developed nations.
“We have shortage of doctors in Nigeria and the situation is being compounded by this migration of doctors. Those countries pulling out doctors are providing them incentives such as better pay and condition of service.
“We also consider our work environment. If you have the skills and training but you don’t have the necessary equipment to work with, you will be frustrated as a doctor watching your patients die. The job satisfaction has to be there for you to stay on it. Good remuneration is also very important to keep our doctors in Nigeria. These are some of the issues these young doctors disclose to us when we engage them.
“If we improve the work environment and incentives (financial and non-financial) for doctors, I’m sure most of them will prefer to stay in their country. For instance, the government can build houses for the doctors to acquire on mortgage. When some of these things are in place, nobody will then want to become a second class citizen in another man’s country.
“On our part, we are focused on training more doctors to become specialists and consultants so that even when some leave we will still have a significant number in Nigeria.
“But training more has to begin from the medical school. The prolonged by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) makes it unlikely that we will graduate any doctor this year. And we might not have house officers next year, meaning there won’t be medical youth corps member in 2024 and there won’t be any doctor to enrol in our residency programme,” the president said.
Osibogun said the issues leading to shortage of doctors in Nigeria year in, year out must be addressed holistically for the benefit of all Nigerians.
The don stated that the Federal Government has been spending huge amount of money training these doctors in all the teaching hospitals, federal medical centres accredited general hospitals across the countrybto become specialists.
He said: “At the moment, we have 8,500 doctors undergoing comprehensive trainings in various hospitals. Since inception, the college has provided 7500 specialists who providing services within and outside Nigeria. These are postgraduate doctors trained to offer safe health care delivery.”
He announced that the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Afe Babalola would on the convocation day be awarded Honorary Fellowship, having contributed to the development of postgraduate medical education in Nigeria and health care generally.
“The event will be an opportunity for us to showcase the ability of the college and to request the support of the members of the public so that we can train better and train more.
“One of the strategies that we adopted to achieve more efficient result is to leverage on technology and establish simulation training centres across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. These centres will allow us to train doctors using artificial equipment before they move on to human beings.
“I use this opportunity to invite partners and spirited individuals to join the college in advance the course of postgraduate medical education in Nigeria by supporting the establishment of these simulation centres. We only have one in this college and another in Abuja. The Borno government is already showing interest so that we can have one in Maiduguri.
“The objective of having these centres in all the geopolitical zones is to bring that technology and training closer to the resident doctors.”