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Nigerian Lecturers Urge Government to Address Health Worker Migration

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nigerian Lecturers Urge Government to Address Health Worker Migration

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been urged by prominent lecturers to address the escalating issue of health worker migration. The call to action focuses on the need for increased salaries and the lifting of the recruitment ban for doctors, a move aimed at combating the ongoing brain drain in the country's healthcare sector. This plea was spearheaded by Prof. Francis Durosinmi-Etti, the Chief Clinical Oncologist at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Cancer Centre, who shed light on the grim reality of the situation.

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Migrating Health Workers: A Dire Situation

Prof. Durosinmi-Etti highlighted the high rates of burnout among doctors, with incidents of medical professionals collapsing on duty. The current employment conditions, coupled with stagnant wages, have spurred a mass exodus of doctors to countries with better remuneration packages and work environments. The government's temporary embargo on recruiting doctors has exacerbated the situation, leaving many medical professionals in limbo, seeking employment or working temporarily.

The Root Cause: Neglect of Healthcare Professionals

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Dr. Dele Ashiru from the University of Lagos concurred with Prof. Durosinmi-Etti, pointing to the chronic neglect of hospital workers as the root cause of this issue. The neglect, he explained, has been ongoing for years, with the demands and welfare of healthcare professionals often sidelined for other matters. This lack of priority has contributed significantly to the deteriorating state of Nigeria's healthcare system.

On Medical Admissions and Facilities

Both experts agreed that merely increasing medical student admissions is not a viable solution to this crisis. The issue, they argue, extends beyond the need for more doctors; it also pertains to the availability of qualified candidates and adequate facilities to accommodate them. Their recommendations to the government were clear: improve wages and working conditions to retain doctors in Nigeria and prevent further brain drain.

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