• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Medical Students condemn bill to curb migration

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The Nigerian Medical Students Association (NiMSA) has condemned the bill to mandate Nigerian-trained medical or dental practitioners to practice in Nigeria for a minimum of five years before getting a full license to practice abroad.

The association described the bill as unpatriotic, ill-timed and a breach of the fundamental human right of doctors as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.

“This bill is aimed at strangulating the medical profession and making mockery of her autonomy. The reason given by Rep. Johnson for sponsoring this bill will end up achieving the direct opposite as the bill seeks to enslave Nigerian trained doctors and paralyse the healthcare system,” Ejim Egba NiMSA president said in a statement released on Friday.

He said the search for greener pastures abroad can be reduced by making by equipping hospitals, and improving health workers welfare.

Conversations inch towards curbing medical tourism abroad and not doctor slavery, Egba said noting, that the proposed solution fails to address the root causes of brain drain in Nigeria.

“The issue of brain drain is multifaceted and requires a more comprehensive approach to tackle it. Instead of trying to forcefully take doctors as slaves, the lawmakers should be focusing on creating an enabling environment that encourages doctors to

stay and work in Nigeria. The lack of infrastructure, inadequate and inappropriate remuneration, and poor working conditions are some of the major factors driving medical professionals away from Nigeria,” the statement read.

Read also: Lawmakers push ahead with bill to curb doctors’ exodus

“These issues need to be addressed if we want to attract and retain our healthcare professionals; make our land green. We also believe that the bill is a violation of the fundamental human rights of medical

professionals. The government has no right to force doctors to work in a particular location against their will- it is an affront to their autonomy and choice.”

The association further notes that the bill will discourage students from pursuing medical education in Nigeria and exacerbate the shortage of healthcare professionals, if approved.

It urged the government to make paying for medical education at the real value optional through schemes such as student loans.