Japa: Medical Education in Nigeria Under Threat –MDCAN

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria has stated that medical education in Nigeria is under threat as a result of brain drain which has caused many health professionals to migrate in search of greener pastures.

President of the association, Prof. Muhammad Muhammad, made this known on Monday while briefing newsmen at the end of the association’s 13th Biennial Delegates Meeting and Scientific Conference in Kano.

According to him, no fewer than 500 doctors with speciality in teaching had migrated because of brain drain.

It was reported on December 1, 2022, that MDCAN said a survey carried out in March 2022 by its Medical Education Committee found that over 500 medical and dental consultants had left Nigeria for developed countries over the preceding two years.

Speaking, Muhammad noted that medical education in Nigeria was under threat if a lasting solution was not proffered to medical professionals’ migration.

“If there is no improvement in current conditions in terms of infrastructure, working conditions and security, it will be difficult to prevent people from moving out (‘Japa’).

“Medical Education is under threat, mainly due to the large numbers of specialists and trainers migrating to other climes.

“Several universities presently have less training quota than the manpower and infrastructure in the institution can effectively train”, he lamented.

Also, he stated that some departments in teaching hospitals were shutting down as a result of the high rate of brain drain.

He said: “The survey we conducted some two years ago shows that about 500 specialist doctors have left Nigeria.

“These are the apex of the profession. They are the ones who are involved in teaching and nurturing new generation doctors from both medical schools and training specialists in Nigeria.

“With the alarming rate of migration (‘Japa’), some departments are closing or left with one or two doctors who render services that were supposed to be rendered by 10 of them.

Speaking further, he noted that it would take a long time to replace the alarming number of doctors who had migrated.

“It will take the country almost 10 years to replace the number by the rate at which we are producing. You can see that it is in alarming proportion. And after that, it has only gotten worse”, he said.

While noting that skilled healthcare professionals not only migrated out of Africa, but also to neighbouring African countries, he urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, provide a solution to the problem of brain drain in the nation’s health institutions.

“The challenges of brain drain in the health sector have remained unabated with the migration of highly skilled health care professionals not only out of Africa but also to the neighbouring West African countries.

“The Government is urged to as a matter of urgency; provide holistic solutions to the challenges of brain drain, which should include incentives that encourage retention of the already depleted health care human resource in Nigeria.

“Concerted efforts should be made by the Governments to motivate its available human resources for health to sustain and improve on the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in Nigeria.”