NMA cautions that Nigeria may eventually need to import medical professionals
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has stated that there may be a need in the future to hire doctors from other nations due to the tendency of medical professionals leaving the nation for better opportunities elsewhere.
The country’s health system will completely collapse, according to the NMA, if immediate action is not done to address the deteriorating situation.
On Tuesday, August 16, during the official launch of the 2022 scientific conference with the theme “National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites,” Dr. Ayotunde Fasunla, Chairman of the Oyo State NMA, sounded the alarm.
In light of the significant migration of Nigerian doctors to Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and other African nations, the body also demanded the declaration of a state of emergency in the health sector.
According to him, the health sector will receive about 4.2% of the national budget in 2022, which is much less than the minimum 15% suggested by the African Union (AU) at the Abuja Declaration.
“The infrastructural deficit is such that some of our hospitals spend a sizeable portion of their own funds on fuel to maintain power supplies,” he said.
“Funds are few to apply for staff hiring, workforce development, or even equipment upgrades.
“Many of our hospitals have appallingly low staffing levels. A strict and insensitive government bureaucracy slows down even the process of replacing relocating employees.
“We are pleading with the government to provide more funding for the health sector so that neither the system fails nor Nigeria starts importing physicians.
“Only healthy people can have the will and strength to help a country’s economy grow and thrive.
“Consequently, I urge well-intentioned Nigerians, philanthropists, and non-governmental organizations to work with the government to improve the situation of the country’s health system, particularly in Oyo state. The government cannot manage it alone, that is certain.”
Dr. Taiwo Ladipo, the Oyo State Commissioner for Health and a representative of Governor Seyi Makinde, attended the ceremony as well. He mentioned that from 2021 to 2022, the state hired 530 medical and healthcare professionals.