The Nigeria Medical Association [NMA] and National Association of Resident Doctors [NARD] have described as unfortunate the statement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on brain drain in the medical sector.
The doctors noted that the minister spoke as a politician who is blind to the sufferings of Nigerians.
In an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, Ngige said he was not concerned that medical doctors were leaving Nigeria, saying that the nation had surplus of them and must export to other countries.
But the NMA president, Dr Adedayo Faduyile, said Nigeria had no enough doctors, stressing the need to ensure the country retained its medical personnel.
“That is an unfortunate statement which shows that he has done nothing in medical practice. The World Health Organisation stated that for optimal health care to be achieved, we need doctor/patient ratio of one to 600. In Nigeria, we have 40,000 doctors taking care of 200 million people.
“It s unfortunate, we do not have enough doctors. Maybe he is looking at the monetary part but there is opportunity cost. We have the maternal mortality that is about the highest in the world.
To correct it, we need health professionals around.”
Also reacting, NARD president, Olusegun Olaopa, said Ngige spoke as a politician.
“He spoke as a politician who does not know what is happening in the country. The doctors we are losing are not fresh doctors but specialists. That means that Nigeria will continue to battle with the shortage of specialist doctors,” he said.
Ngige has also been hauled over the coals on social media for his rather bizarre statement.