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Brain drain: “5-10 of our members leave Nigeria weekly.”- Association of Resident doctors lament

The President of the Association of Residents Doctors (ARD) in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Dr. Rahman Olayinka, lamented the alarming trend where five to ten members of the association migrate to other countries weekly in pursuit of improved welfare packages and a conducive working environment.

Dr. Olayinka expressed deep concern at a press briefing held on Monday 4th December 2023, where he advocated for a comprehensive overhaul of Nigeria’s health system to tackle the critical issue of brain drain.

What He Said

Olayinka highlighted the primary reasons for this exodus, stating,

“The advocacy is for improved welfare packages. Health workers leave because they get better welfare packages, good working environments, and a proper healthcare system, including robust insurance cover for their families.”

Emphasising the urgency of the matter, he called for a complete restructuring of the healthcare system in the country to stem the tide of healthcare professionals seeking opportunities abroad.

Despite an upward review in salaries and wages by the FCTA, Dr. Olayinka pointed out that the new salary scale is yet to be implemented, underscoring the need for prompt action to address the grievances of healthcare professionals.

Dr. Olayinka highlighted that the upcoming ARD Health Week with the theme titled “The State of Nigeria’s Health Care System: An Update,” presents a unique opportunity to engage in discussions that can contribute to enhancing the nation’s health sector.

He stressed the necessity of aligning Nigeria’s healthcare system with World Health Organisation guidelines. He outlined several key topics to be addressed, including the unresolved crisis in the health system, the role of government and society in improving healthcare, and the pertinent issue of medical victimisation and bullying of medical doctors.

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