Medical experts urge FG to create policies to attract Diaspora doctors

Pamela Ajayi, the president of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government to create an enabling environment through favourable policies to encourage Nigerian doctors in Diaspora to come home.

Speaking in Lagos at the inaugural convention organised by Doctors for Change, a group of Nigerian healthcare practitioners from a diverse background of specialisations, she said that such policies will also help to curb brain drain, which is among the biggest challenges facing the nation’s health sector.

According to her, the contribution of Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora is huge as they remitted about $5.16 million in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

Akin Abayomi, the commissioner of Health of Lagos State, said Doctors For Change (DFC) can help to fast-track collaboration between the state government and the private sector, which would help to reverse the problem of brain drain in the health sector.

Abayomi commended the initiative, saying that it is exciting to see the private sector people organising themselves because it is always easier for the government to collaborate with a group like DFC rather than deal with multiple individuals.

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He said that healthcare is always considered as a critical part of the government agenda and that Lagos state will continue to play its part in putting necessary policy and infrastructure in place to support doctors.

Earlier in his welcome address, Babaseyi Oyesola, the convener of the convention, said DFC was born out of the desire to bring a solution to the numerous problems ailing the healthcare sector in Nigeria.

According to him, the collaboration and ongoing dialogues among the critical stakeholders will create the opportunity to not only meet the aim of the group but to achieve the desired change.

Toyin Ajayi, medical director of the Bridge Clinic, commended the convener for putting together such a platform for doctors of Nigerian origin training and practicing all across the globe to come together, dialogue, and collaborate on how to move the healthcare sector forward.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), assured members of DFC that she is prepared to work with them while calling on more doctors in the diaspora to be part of the change.

The convention is focused on creating a pathway for Nigerian doctors in the diaspora to come home and contribute their quota in alleviating the deplorable state of the healthcare sector in Nigeria.