The House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions says it will ensure that medical tourism and brain drain of medical doctors are reversed in Nigeria as 51 doctors resign from the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Amos Magaji, made this pledge in response to Prof. Sa’ad Ahmed, the chief medical director’s disclosure that 51 doctors have left the hospital.
Prof. Sa’ad Ahmad lamented about the manpower shortage at the facility, adding that aside from the 51 personnel that have left, more were still planning to leave.
According to him, every department in the facility is affected by the exodus of medical personnel and even when they are replaced by others, the wealth of experience those that left had cannot be reached just yet.
What He Said
- “This year alone, about 51 staff have left the facility. It is biting, and it will continue to bite. We can talk about one-for-one replacement, but sometimes you cannot get that level of experience of the person that is leaving.”
The House of Representatives response
- The Reps committee chairman also said that the committee would focus on reversing the brain drain and improving the budgetary allocation for the health sector.
What He Said
- “One of the key areas this committee is really looking into is the reversal of medical tourism, we are not saying it should be stopped, but it should be reversed.”
- “We want to see that people are coming from Niger Republic, Ghana, and Egypt to access healthcare here.”
- “We are going to see that medical tourism is reduced, and it cannot reduce until we deal with the issues of manpower, equipment, infrastructure, and we will see that these are achieved especially in the FCT.”
- “Until you are sick, you will not know the value of health, no matter how much you have, there are certain emergencies that if you do not have hospitals to respond to you fast, you would have died before reaching the Mediterranean Sea, and we need to have our system working.”
The committee plans to reverse brain drain by improving budgetary allocation for the health sector, and intervention in the health sector to make medical care affordable, accessible and top-notch.