The International College of Surgeons, Nigerian Section, ICS-NS, reported that the country has lost 6,221 physicians to the United Kingdom over the past six years.
According to the college, this has made it challenging for more than 40 million Nigerians to see a doctor, as the ratio of patients to physicians has increased dramatically.
Prof. Akanimo Essiet, president of the college, and Prof. Lucky Onotai, secretary-general, said in a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the college’s 56th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference held in Lagos over the weekend and signed by them: “The ‘JAPA’ phenomenon has drastically reduced our healthcare workforce.
Studies indicate that 87 percent of our labor force is dissatisfied and desires to leave for greener pastures. Prior to 2022, we had 1 physician per 4,000 patients, whereas the WHO standard is 1 physician per 600 patients.
According to the available evidence, the number of registered Nigerian physicians in the United Kingdom will increase from 4,765 in 2017 to 10,986 in 2023.
This meant that 6,221 physicians left the United Kingdom over the past six years. This suggests that it will be more difficult for over 40 million Nigerians to see a doctor.
Our healthcare personnel now earn between one-fifth and one-tenth of what their foreign counterparts earn due to the devaluation of our currency relative to the US dollar.
“Our healthcare policy must gradually shift from a predominately out-of-pocket financing model to an NHIA-financed model.” Good regulation can encourage private sector-led healthcare megacorporations to increase funding for healthcare services.
This will result in increased compensation for healthcare professionals and facilities, as well as enhanced access to high-quality healthcare in Nigeria.
“The security situation in the country is alarming and negatively impacts Nigerians’ health status. The government must take swift action to bring it under control.
Since they encourage migration, the aforementioned three issues have had a devastating effect on Nigerians’ health.
As a result, the ICS-NS recommended that the federal, state, and local governments provide universal health coverage.
“The insurance fund should be increased, and HMOs and healthcare providers should receive equitable compensation. Investors in the health sector should have simple and affordable access to capital.
“State and local governments should strive to attract healthcare workers by providing quality healthcare facilities, decent roads, improved electricity, access to potable drinking water, excellent schools, and telecommunications. This will increase the number of healthcare professionals in those areas.
“All levels of government should support ICS-NS surgical missions whenever the college requests collaboration and funding to provide Nigerians with the outstanding surgical care that is desired.
“In order to achieve these goals, the budgetary allocation for health must be significantly increased until it reaches the WHO-recommended proportion of the national budget.”