Minister of Labour and Productivity Dr Chris Ngige has said he’s “not concerned” about medical doctors leaving Nigeria to practice abroad.
He claims the country has surplus doctors an when you have surplus, “you export,” he said in an interview on Channels Television.
“I’m not concerned at all. I’m not worried. We have surplus (doctors). If we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days. They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess…. We have enough, more than enough, quote me,” Ngige said.
In 2018, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) President, Professor Mike Ogirima said the country had one medical doctor to 6000 people in a given community as against the WHO recommendation of 1:600 in a community.
There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.
Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.
Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.