The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday said it planned to immediately replace all healthcare workers that had left the country for greener pastures in overseas and other countries.
Mahmud Mamman, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health made the disclosure at the 2022 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) in Benin City.
Mahmud represented by Darlington Obaseki, Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), said it was part of the government’s immediate policy geared towards tackling brain drain of health workers in the country.
The meeting has in its theme, “Needed Entrepreneurial Skills In Medical Practice In Nigeria To Reverse Brain Drain And Outward Medical Tourism To Brain Gain”, while sub-themes are “From 200 To A Multibillionaire; The Role Of Entrepreneurship In Self-Development” and “Entrepreneurship On The Business World”.
According to him, one of our proposed interventions is the “One for one replacement policy” for existing medical staff in our hospitals.
“Healthcare workers that leave is replaced without resort to obtaining approvals. We believe that this would go a long way towards addressing the present brain drain”, he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Victor Makanjuola, president, Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) expressed worry over the myriads of challenges bedeviling the health sector.
Makanjuola listed some of the challenges ranging from inappropriate remuneration for members, worsening brain drain and generally unsatisfactory conditions of service, inadequate infrastructure among others in hospitals in the country.
He expressed optimism that the meeting will proffer pragmatic solutions to the various challenges affecting the sector in Nigeria.
He assured that the meeting will also provide useful resolutions and recommendations for engaging the policy makers on how best to revamp the nation’s healthcare system.
On his part, Afekhide Ernest Omoti, Chairman Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Chairman National Eye Health Committee, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) noted that the meeting was crucial to stakeholders in repositioning the health sector, particularly in proffering solutions to issues of brain drain.
Omoti opined that the Benin 2022 national meeting of the association promises to be an interesting one especially now that there are so many issues plaguing medical practice in Nigeria and at a critical time in our democracy.
“It will also afford members the opportunity to brainstorm on strategies and policies towards sustainable growth, entrepreneurship, and general development of the association.
“There is no doubt that previous NEC meetings have proffered achievable and pragmatic solutions to various challenges affecting our nation, and the Benin 2022 NEC meeting will not be an exception.
“This particular NEC meeting becomes more important in view of the ongoing political activities in our nation”, he added.
He, however, commended the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin for the financial supports, the Chief Medical Directors of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo Specialist Hospital, all the consultants in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, other sponsors for the various contributions to the successful hosting of the meeting.