• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigerian health workers fleeing abroad hit 18,224 in one year

businessday-icon

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has revealed that a significant number of Nigerian health workers have been granted visas by the United Kingdom, with a total of 18,224 visas issued in one year.

This highlights the concerning trend of health workers leaving Nigeria for better opportunities abroad.

Kabiru Minjibir, president of MHWUN expressed worry over the increasing brain drain in the health sector, noting that Nigeria leads in emigrant health workers in Africa, according to arise news.

The number of Nigerians under health and care skilled work visas has risen by 215%, reaching 26,715 by the end of 2023.

Quoting data from the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), the President of MHWUN revealed that approximately 75,000 nurses have left Nigeria between 2017 and 2023 to work in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

This information was shared during a conference in Abuja where concerns were raised about the impact of economic challenges on the healthcare system in Nigeria.

The President highlighted the strain on healthcare workers due to poor working conditions and inadequate facilities, leading many to seek opportunities abroad.

He emphasized the imbalance between healthcare providers and patients, with ratios far exceeding recommended levels.

Additionally, he pointed out disparities in salaries between Nigerian healthcare professionals and those in developed countries, citing low remuneration as a key factor driving professionals to leave.

Despite these challenges, efforts are being made by MHWUN and other unions to engage with the government to address issues such as salary structures, hazard allowances, and overall working conditions.

The President stressed the need for comprehensive healthcare policies that prioritize funding, infrastructure improvement, research, and innovation to retain skilled health workers and enhance the quality of healthcare services in Nigeria.