Diaspora doctors critique bill seeking to reduce brain-drain

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Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora have reacted to the bill before the National Assembly’s bill seeking to curtail the brain drain in the country’s health sector.

Recall that EduCeleb.com earlier reported that the House of Representatives had started working on a bill seeking to amend the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act.

Accordingly, the bill would mandate Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to practice for at least five years in Nigeria before being granted a full licence.

The bill which has scaled through the second reading has been criticised by practitioners in the health industry.

Reacting to the controversial bill, Diaspora Medical Associations in a reply to the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the move would not stop the exodus of health workers from Nigeria.

In the reply jointly signed by Dr Emeka Ugwu, President, Nigerian Doctors’ Forum, South Africa (NDF-SA) and four other association leaders disclosed that the current effort by the Federal Government through the proposed bill would be counter-productive.

The group listed poor remunerations and appalling work conditions among others as the reasons Nigerian health workers are leaving the country.

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“Young professionals leave the country in search of better opportunities. Many are frustrated by the consequences of governance failures that have progressively worsened over the past 30 years. The unfortunate reality is [reflected in our] healthcare. The system is in a state of serious neglect; training and career development opportunities are limited, further impairing earning potential. Insecurity is rampant. Equity and justice [is] lacking for the average Nigerian,” the group stated.

The group called for a comprehensive solution to the problem facing Nigeria’s health sector.

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