The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm over the crisis in the nation’s health sector as a result of the massive exodus of healthcare professionals to countries where they were better appreciated and treated.
President of NMA, Dr Prof Innocent Ujah, who raised the alarm on Thursday in Abuja while reading the communiqué reached at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held in Sokoto State, said health care professionals were needed in the country like never before.
He said: “NEC bemoaned the incessant and escalating spate of emigration of highly trained Nigerian doctors and other healthcare professionals to greener pastures (brain drain) at a time when their services are critically needed here at home and the lack of urgency in detonating this ticking time bomb by governments of Nigeria.
“Noting that the consequences of non-intervention include; acute shortages of highly trained doctors and health professionals in the various cadres in health, increasing waiting time, poor health outcomes and constant medical tourism resulting in huge loses in foreign exchange.
“NEC therefore called on governments to urgently take strategic steps to address the threats to human resource in the health sector while appealing to doctors and other healthcare professionals to reconsider the highly tempting offers to stay back home as a mark of patriotism to contribute to national development.”
The NMA while registering its displeasure at the non-payment of salaries and allowances of doctors and other health workers in some states in Nigeria, enjoined the state governments to do the needful so as to help improve quality and prompt healthcare service delivery to the public.
Furthermore, the NMA appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to without delay, the recently amended NHIS (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill to facilitate universal health coverage in Nigeria towards achieving the health related sustainable development goals.