The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm that Nigeria may have to import medical doctors to treat local patients in the future if urgent steps were not taken to fix the persistent brain drain in the health sector which may lead to a total collapse of the system in the country.
The Oyo State NMA Chairman, Dr. Ayotunde Fasunla, raised the alarm in Ibadan recently, at the official opening of the 2022 scientific conference titled, ‘National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites.’
The body also called for a state of emergency in the health sector to holistically address the menace of pull and push factors, responsible for the mass migration of health personnel to Europe, America, the Middle East, and other African countries.
Fasunla further stated that the poor state of the government-owned hospitals in the country was largely due to poor funding.
He noted that the budgetary allocation to the health sector in 2022 was approximately 4.2 per cent of the national budget.
According to him, “The figure falls significantly below the recommendation of the African Union at the Abuja Declaration of a minimum of 15 per cent. The situation, he said, was worse at the state level.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Council, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Dr. Abiodun Adeoye, stated that the brain drain in the health sector should be treated as a national emergency.
Adeleye, who represented UCH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, stressed the importance of the power of industrial harmony in the health sector towards boosting quality and robust healthcare in Nigeria.
He urged the health sector personnel to shun all forms of rifts that had been considered to be deleterious to the healthcare system.