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“We can’t discourage medical doctors from leaving Nigeria”

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"We can't discourage medical doctors from leaving Nigeria"


The Chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi, on Monday disclosed that little could be done to discourage doctors and other health personnel from leaving the country for greener pastures, as they remain part of Nigeria’s foreign exchange-earners.

He stated this during an oversight visit by the House committee to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos.

According to him, “There is a limit to what human beings can do on the issue of doctors or professionals leaving the country for greener pastures. We have been doing our best in collaboration with the Federal Government to ensure there are good conditions of service for our professionals.”

“We held several meetings with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) and we hands-off when the matter went to court and we can’t do anything until the matter is withdrawn from the court because anything we do will be subjudice. So, we can’t interfere in the court process until it is settled. Right now, we are handicapped.

“We have invited JOHESU members to the table because they haven’t gone to court. We are trying to do our best to ensure that they don’t go to court. If they do, we will have no choice but to also hand off.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), (LUTH), Prof. Chris Bode, who spoke on major challenges in the sector, said strikes were causing instability in the system, and disrupting services, training and research.

Also, a member of the House, Dr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare, said: “It is unfortunate that we are witnessing this. You need so much money to train yourself as a doctor overseas but here in Nigeria, what you need to get to be a doctor is a peanut compared to that. It, is, therefore, so unfortunate that when you get trained here, those people call and poach our doctors.”

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