2022 Physicians week – NMA calls on FG to declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health care sector


By Golok Nanmwa,Jos

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA )on Monday lamented the poor salaries of health workers in the country saying it makes many doctors leave to other countries for better remuneration.

National president Dr Uche Roland Ojinmah made the lamentation at a news conference to mark the 2022 Physicians week in Jos .

The body further added that ” Statistics has shown that between January 1 2022 and September 30 2022 ,about 1,307 doctors trained in Nigeria were licenced in the United Kingdom as the country continues to battle one of the worst situations of brain drain in it’s history .”

They added that ” Over all 10,296 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice on the UK ,dispersion of the emigration data for Nigeria trained doctors to UK was 233 in 2015,279 in 2016 ,475 in 2017 ,852 in 2018 ,1347 in 2019 ,833 in 2022 in spite of the COVID 19 pandemic ,and 932 in 2021 during recovery from COVID .”

” Currently Nigerian has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan , meanwhile while we are losing our human resources from health in geometric progression ,Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever ,Malaria ,COVID ,Ebola , Marburg etc are still very much available in the face of worsening incidences of systemic hypertension with or without complications , diabetes mellitus with or without complications , osteoarthritis etc ,we call on government to quickly declare emergency action in Nigeria’s health care sector for the sake of her citizens..”

The association further added that Nigerian Doctors are now poorly paid ,over worked ,lack necessary work tools and has become a target for kidnap .

The NMA president who was represented by the Chairman of the Plateau state chapter of the body Dr. Bapigaan William Audu said we as Nigerian Doctors have been taken from the lofty heights of nobility to nothingness by the neglect and possible disdain for the health sector by successive governments .

Aside the poor salaries, the association’s president also decried underfunding of the health facilities by the Nigerian government .

” The Penchant of state governments for seizing or slashing our salaries and paying it peace meal at their convenience without interest has become a subject of folklore and hence cannot be allowed to continue ,he added .

The body also NMA had to shelve this year’s Physician’s week National opening ceremony and razzmatazz as a result of the massive flooding affecting Bayelsa and some other states of Nigeria with attendant loss of human lives and properties thereby dampening the mood of the nation ,we call on the government at all levels to actively initiate measures to avert another flooding ,we as a body from our merger resources sent some relief materials to Bayelsa state which was worst hit ,we also encouraged our branches in affected states to roll out medical outreach programs and sent solidarity messages to the state governors and some dignitaries in the affected states .

All citizens must respond to the call of Nigeria ,we must never allow let the labours of our heroes past be in vain ,all citizens must must respond to the call of Nigeria for good leadership and should never for pecuniary benefits sell or support candidates that cannot move our nation forward .

The NMA President further added that ” The theme of this year’s Physician’s week ( Nigeria’s Health care delivery system and the 2023 Democratic Transition ,A Time to Change the Narrative ) is in tandem with the most important event in Nigeria while the subthemes ( Mitigating the impact of brain drain on the dwindling human resources for health in Nigeria and health sector reforms in the face of emerging public health threats ) were chosen as continued reminder to our governments that things are falling apart in the health sector .

He added that the era of blind loyalty is over ,let us all patiently wait to hear the plans of the Presidential Candidates for Nigeria especially in the health sector before pitching our political support tent .