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Brain Drain: Nigeria may Import Medical Doctors in Future —NMA

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says the nation’s skyrocketing brain drain wave may culminate in the country resorting to hiring medical doctors to treat local patients in the future.

The NMA also warned that if urgent steps were not taken to fix the deteriorating situation, it may lead to total collapse of the health system in the country.

The Oyo State NMA Chairman, Dr.

Ayotunde Fasunla, raised the alarm in Ibadan on Tuesday, at the official opening of the 2022 scientific conference, titled: ‘National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites’.

The event has as a sub-theme: ‘Industrial Harmony in the Health Sector – A Necessity for Health Sector Growth.

The body also called for a state of emergency in the health sector with a view to holistically addressing the menace of pull and push factors, responsible for mass migration of health personnel to Europe, America, Middle East and other African countries.

Fasunla stated further 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.

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According to him, the figure falls significantly below the recommendation of the African Union (AU) at the Abuja Declaration of a minimum of 15 per cent. The situation, he said, was worse at the state level.

He said: “The infrastructure deficit is such that some of our hospitals spend a significant amount of their internally generated revenues on diesel to ensure power supply.

“There is scarcity of funds to apply for equipment upgrade, manpower development or even recruitment of new staff.

“Many of our hospitals are grossly under-staffed. Even the process of replacing migrating staff is bogged down by a rigid and insensitive government bureaucracy.

“It is our plea to the government to commit more funds to the health sector so that the system does not collapse.

“Only healthy people can have the will and strength to contribute to the growth and development of a nation’s economy.

“Therefore, I call on well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists, and non-governmental organisations to join hands with the government to improve the conditions of the health system in the nation, especially Oyo state. It is obvious that the government cannot handle it alone.”

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.

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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.

Also speaking, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr.Taiwo Ladipo, who represented  Gov. Seyi Makinde, noted that the brain drain syndrome had become an issue that should not be treated  with levity.

He stated that the state recruited about 530 medical and health personnel within the last one year, and 20 among them, including 12 consultants had left the services of the state government.

“We should look inward and ensure that the health system does not collapse,” he said

Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Budo-Egba, Kwara State, Dr. Baba Issa, also supported calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in the healthcare sector.

Issa presented the keynote address of the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, on the theme of the scientific conference,

Oloriegbe stated that since inception of the health insurance scheme, a total of 7,762,034, representing 3.88 per cent of the 200 million population of Nigeria have enrolled into the scheme.

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He said a lot should be done to increase the number of enrollees towards addressing the issues plaguing the country’s health sector.

Emeritus Prof. Oluwole Akande, a former Chief Medical Director, UCH, and chairman of the occasion, said that two factors were responsible for brain drain in the country.

He identified them as pull and push factors, explaining that the pull factor encompasses the incentives being used by other countries to poach the medical and health workers.

“The push factor refers to conditions of service, unfriendly environment, inadequate funding and so on that have been forcing the experts to emigrate to other countries in search of greener pastures,” Akande said. (NAN)

Health

Medical Workers Raise Concern over Lack of Access to Quality Healthcare in Nigeria 

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By Laide Akinboade 

 National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union, MHWUN, Biobelemoye Josiah, said it was imperative for the Federal Government to do more in Nigeria’s health sector to enable Nigerians to have access to quality health care services.

Expressing concern over the parlous state of the nation’s hospitals, Josiah noted that the union would soon commission a five-star ultra-modern specialist hospital in the country to show example to the government and appropriate authorities in how to run hospitals.

Josiah spoke in Ado-Ekiti during a leadership skill and innovation training organized for young members of the Union in Southwest Zone.

Speaking on the theme ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating A world For All Ages’, the union boss, who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Mr Adebisi Olufemi said the programme was organised to expose the youths to contemporary ways to lead the future generations.

According to him,  “Our union is among the few that have profound respect for youths and we have encouraged our youths to participate in local and international programmes.

“It is important to note that elders have laid a good foundation for our union, we must ensure that we develop our youths to build on this solid foundation.

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“If you look at the health sector it is not encouraging, our concern is the future of our young ones, if the government can not fix our health system we wonder what will be the fate of our coming generations.

“We must be sincere, the Federal government is not doing badly in terms of workers’ welfare but the unfortunate thing is the attitude of some Governors.

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Health

Yobe Establishes 4 Specialists, 8 General Hospitals – Official

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Yobe government says it has establishdd four specialists and eight general hospitals to enhance delivery of quality healthcare services at the grassroots.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Lawan Gana stated this at a news conference on Tuesday in Damaturu.

He said four general hospitals had been upgraded to specialist facilities in Buni Yadi, Postiskum, Gashua and Geidam while Machina, Yusufari and Jaji Maji healthcare centres upgraded to general hospitals.

Others were Babbangida, Bara, Buni-Gari, Yunusari and Asibitin Malam Baba, Nguru.

Gana disclosed that a Special Baby Care unit had been set up at Specialist Hispital, Gashua, while 20-bed capacity isolation centres established at Potiskum, Gashua and Yunusari Specialist Hospitals.

The commissioner said the state government also upgraded the Emergency Paediatric Unit and Trauma Centre at Specialist Hospital, Damaturu as well as provision of modern equipment at general hospital Damagum, Buni Yadi, Gashua, Potiskum, among others.

He commended Gov. Mai Mala Buni for his commitment towards transforming healthcare services in the state. (NAN)

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Health

PCN Destroy Drugs Worth over N100m

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By Yagana Ali, Yola.

The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) has destroyed illicit and expired drugs worth over 100 million Naira in Adamawa state.

The PCN Adamawa State Chairman Ibrahim Talba, while briefing newsmen, said the drugs were seized from stands across the state as part of the organization’s efforts to rid the state of expired and fake drugs.

“Members of the public should always check the expiration date on any medicine they are buying,” he advised.

Taliba also urged owners of pharmacies and patent medicine stores to stop displaying expired drugs on their stands.

The Deputy Speaker of Adamawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Pwamakino Mankendo, who represented the Speaker, Iya Abbas, supervised the destruction at kwanna ware, a suburb in Yola, the state capital.

The speaker commended the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, for not allowing these expired drugs to get back to the market, particularly in the rural areas.

He noted that “if these drugs get to the end users it will not only destroy the health of our people.”

Adamawa state National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Commander, Femi Agbolu who also spoke at the event said the drugs would be abused with concomitant adverse if allowed into society.

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