Japa: FG Recruits 2,497 Doctors, Others in 6 Months

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Alli Pate, on Wednesday, said the Federal Government has recruited 2,497 doctors, midwives, nurses, and community health extension workers in the last six months to bridge the manpower shortage in the health sector.

Prof Pate disclosed this on Wednesday at the third edition of the ministerial press briefing series initiated by the Ministry of Information in Abuja.

The briefing series was initiated to provide a platform for public officials to reel out their achievements and apprise Nigerians of the challenges of governance.

Nigeria with a low doctor-population ratio, is experiencing a massive exodus of physicians.

The PUNCH reported that at the end of 2023, 1,417 resident doctors moved to the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria also stated that nine out of every 10 medical and dental consultants were leaving the country.

Poor remuneration, rising insecurity, inadequate diagnostic facilities, unconducive work conditions, and economic conditions are some of the reasons for the mass exodus.

Pate, however, said President Bola Tinubu had made remarkable strides in enhancing healthcare accessibility, affordability, and quality.

He noted that the government had prioritised revitalisation of primary healthcare facilities, and ensuring they were adequately equipped and staffed to provide essential services to communities.

“Through sustained investment and strategic partnerships, we have expanded access to vital healthcare services, particularly in rural and underserved areas, improving health outcomes and reducing the burden of preventable diseases.

“As a result of our efforts, we have recorded an increase in the proportion of women who attend antenatal care. Over 550,000 women now attend their first antenatal care and are armed with the right information and care to improve their pregnancy outcomes and reduce maternal and child mortality.

“The achievements we have recorded signal progress and improvements. To sustain and continue to build on these gains, in the last six months, the Government of Nigeria recruited 2,497 Doctors, Midwives/Nurses, and CHEWs to bridge the gaps due to attrition. An additional 1,400 health facilities now have Skilled Birth Attendants to assist in deliveries at the health facilities. This has increased the number of health facility deliveries to as high as 230,000 deliveries per month”, Pate said.

The minister also announced that the FG would be releasing N50 billion as the first tranche of the Basic Healthcare Fund, a significant increase from N25bn allocated in 2022.

“This infusion of funds will breathe new life into our primary healthcare facilities, ensuring that quality care is accessible to all citizens,” he said.

Credit: The Punch