The Nigerian section of the ICS-NS ,International College of Surgeons, Nigerian Section, have revealed that Nigeria in the last 6 years have lost about 6,221 medical doctors to the United Kingdom. It is very difficult to see a medical doctor presently in Nigeria according to the college, due to the patient-to-doctor ratio that has totally gone up.
Prof. Akanimo Essiet, who is the President of the college and the Secretary-General, Prof. Lucky Onotai, in a statement released at the end of the college’s 56th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference held in Lagos over the weekend, and signed by them, said in part: “The ‘JAPA’ phenomenon has drastically reduced our healthcare workforce.
”Evidence shows that the gap widens and the number of registered Nigerian doctors in the UK rose from 4,765 in 2017 to 10,986 in 2023. This meant that 6,221 doctors were lost to the UK in the past six years. This suggests that over 40 million Nigerians will find it harder to see a doctor. With the weakening of our currency against the US dollar, our healthcare professionals now earn between one-fifth to one-tenth of what their foreign counterparts earn.
Our healthcare policy needs to gradually transform from the predominantly out-of-pocket financing method into the NHIA financed method. Private sector-led healthcare mega businesses can be encouraged with good regulation to boost the funding of healthcare services. This will lead to improved emoluments for healthcare workers and facilities as well as better access to quality healthcare for Nigeria.
The security situation in the country is alarming and impacting negatively on the health status of Nigerians. Government should act decisively to bring it under control.”