The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the medical industry, following reports that ministry of health officials from Saudi Arabia came to Nigeria to recruit Nigerian doctors to work for them.
Speaking to an interviewer from The Punch, Faduyile blamed the federal and state governments for not taking care of doctors’ wellbeing.
He said, “When you train doctors and you don’t have facilities for them to work, they will get frustrated. A lot of doctors are roaming the streets because they are unable to secure a good place to work.”
He added that a country that puts a premium on health will not allow its workforce to be taken away so carelessly, especially as it costs a lot of money to train a doctor.
The NMA president said that the association currently have some consultants who are unemployed in the country and the federal and state governments refuse to employ them, adding that this is not proper.
“Saudi Arabia has the confidence to come to take our readymade products; even those employed are leaving the country on a daily basis to seek for greener pastures, ” he lamented.
Faduyile further stated that seven doctors leave for the United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America and some African countries every week. The implication of this, according to him, is that all that the taxpayers have put in place to have well trained doctors are taken for granted and Nigerians are suffering unnecessarily.
The NMA president added that there are no enough doctors in the nation. “The ones that are on ground are leaving for greener pastures, which means that there will be a crisis in the health industry, because it is not just the young doctors that are leaving even the specialist are also leaving,” he said.
He also lamented that most general hospitals owned by state governments were not interested in employing health workers.
“The few doctors that are left are overworked, underpaid, poorly motivated, and a lot of them are looking elsewhere. The NMA has called on the government several times to declare a state of emergency in the health sector, but I think what the government has been doing is to pay lip service to the health sector. We told the president last year that the budgetary allocation for the health sector was low. Although it was increased, that will not take us anywhere,” Faduyile said.