Japa: Postgraduate Medical College Laments Low Enrolment

The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria has decried the continued exodus of medical doctors abroad in search of better pay and favourable working conditions.

The college President, Prof. Akin Osibogun, lamented the low enrolment of postgraduate medical students to train, owing to continued emigration of doctors.

The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria is responsible for training postgraduate medical doctors in the country.

The institution said it had trained about 80,500 specialists for the country.

Speaking on Wednesday at the institution in Ijanikin, Lagos, during a pre-convocation press briefing ahead of the convocation of over 500 postgraduate doctors today (Thursday), Osibogun said efforts must be made to stem the tide of japa among medical doctors.

Osibogun said: “We will be convocating 413 new fellows and 92 doctors of medicine. We will have over 500 postgraduate doctors’ conferences on Thursday (today). The main challenge we face now is that we do not have enough people to train because, as doctors graduate, the Japa syndrome—what is generally referred to as brain drain in the country—is affecting them. To address that problem, we need to train more and retain more.

“There are two legs to it: we need to ramp up our training processes, and we also need to put in place, mainly on the side of the government, the mechanism to ensure skilled manpower remains in the country. There are several ways in which the government can do that. At our last conference, we proffered some solutions as to how we can retain trained manpower through financial and non-financial incentives.

“We need to incentivise them; some of our sisters’ countries in West Africa are encroaching on our medical manpower because they are offering higher pay to these doctors. We have 11,000 Nigerian doctors in the UK and 12,000 in the US; we have about 30,000 to 40,000 Nigerian doctors in different parts of the world. We need to retain them.”