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Lagos State To Build Specialist Hospitals To Tackle Brain Drain

To diversify medical care and curtail medical tourism and brain drain in the health sector, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said the state is building specialist hospitals. Prof. Abayomi said this during the Doctors for Change (DFC) conference in Lagos State, South West, Nigeria.

According to him, the state identified trust, and lack of medical specialties, as factors driving Nigerians overseas for medical care. Abayomi said the trend would be reversed to make the state a medical tourist destination.

He said that the government would continue investing in human resources, set standards and right policies to enforce quality healthcare services delivery.

The commissioner who said the state was embarking on a digital footprint that would connect all health facilities, to holistic and collective data on the health seeking behaviour of Lagos indigenes also stated that the state wants to partner with the DFC to assist in achieving its strategic goals. He said the state would continually evolve favourable policies to attract doctors in the Diaspora back to Nigeria, either fully or partly.

Also, President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Dr Pamela Ajayi, said Nigerians in diaspora have a huge impact on the economy revealing that $5.16 billion was remitted in a month this year. Ajayi said the HFN would collaborate with the government to ensure that favourable policy evolves to impact the health sector.

Similarly, Dr Abiodun Kuti, the President, Guild of Medical Directors, said the level of brain drain in the country was alarming stressing that policies should be enacted to encourage doctors stay or return to the country. Also, Dr Chinyere Anyaogu, the President, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), said the association’s mission was to achieve a healthier Nigeria for a healthier world. Anyaogu said ANPA, registered in the US, represents the interest of over 5,000 dentists and physicians across the US, and had contributed considerably to healthcare development in Nigeria. She stressed the need for robust partnerships in accelerating healthcare delivery and development in the country.

Also speaking, Dr Babaseyi Oyesola, Convener of DFC, said the DFC was a group of Nigerian healthcare practitioners home and in the Diaspora committed to enhancing healthcare delivery in the country. Oyesola said DFC works to increase access to care and improve the health of all Nigerians through research, education, collaboration, and advocacy. According to him, DFC members, who had returned to the country, had set up cardiology centres, cancer centres, medical laboratories among others, to reduce the need of Nigerians to travel for such care.

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), said diasporans were valuable asset, worth more than the billions of naira they sent home as remittances. Dabiri-Erewa said that they contribute to national development through medical missions, investments, training and skills transfer noting the importance of synergy between Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora and the government, to promote socioeconomic development.

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