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HomeNewsBuhari regime proposes nine-year compulsory post-training service in Nigeria for health workers

Buhari regime proposes nine-year compulsory post-training service in Nigeria for health workers

To combat brain drain in the health-care industry, Nigerian-trained medical physicians and other health-care professionals must commit to a nine-year post-training commitment to the country.

Labour Minister Chris Ngige proposed this suggestion after bemoaning how healthcare providers “simply carry their bags and walk out of their nation at leisure after they were taught for free.”

Mr Ngige while defending his ministry’s 2022 budget before the House of Representatives, decried how the government utilises its resources to train medical practitioners who soon relocate abroad for jobs.

“Medical education in Nigeria is almost free. Where else in the world is it free? The Presidential Committee on Health should come with a proposal for bonding doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists, and other health workers so that they don’t just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost,” he stated.

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Further drawing analogy with the cost of medical education abroad, the minister said: “In London, it is 45,000 pounds a session for medical education in cheap in universities. If you go to Edinburgh or Oxford, you pay $80,000. If you go to the USA you pay $45,000 but if you go to the Ivy leagues, you pay $90,000 for only tuition, excluding lodging. You do it for six years. So, people in America take loans,” he said.

He thus emphasised the need to placed medical practitioners on government bond so that they cannot play their trade outside the country until they have fulfilled a stipulated year of service in-country.

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“We can make provisions for loans and you pay back. If the government will train you for free, we should bond you. You serve the country for nine years before you go anywhere,” Mr Ngige said.

Nigeria in recent years has seen a flux of its medical doctors emigrating from the country to practice elsewhere due to poor conditions of service.

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According to the General Medical Council, between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021, the United Kingdom hired around 353 Nigerian doctors. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021, 862 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed in the nation.

Nigeria’s secret police, the SSS, opened fire in August to disrupt a recruiting procedure for swarms of medical doctors seeking job interviews in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ngige has previously denied the health-care brain drain, claiming that the country had enough physicians to meet demand.

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