Brain drain: How FG is replacing migrant doctors


Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire

NIGERIA’S Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has said the Federal Government immediately replaces senior medical doctors that resign to travel abroad.

This is coming against the backdrop of a report that Nigeria has lost nearly 9000 doctors to the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries in three years.

Speaking at the 2023 Annual Conference and general meeting of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) in Lagos, Ehanire said the Federal Government had resorted to “One for One replacement” to mitigate the effects of brain drain in the medical sector.

He noted that most of the medical doctors resigning their position to travel abroad are senior doctors.

Shedding light on how the Federal Government is replacing migrant doctors, Ehanire said; “There is something we are doing called ‘One for One replacement. This entails replacement of a doctor immediately he leaves. In the past, it was abused as departing doctors replaced themselves with relatives or others that added no value to the system.

“The ‘One for One’ ensures that it is strictly the same profession. And we have warned all medical directors to comply.”

The health minister at the weekend also disclosed plans by the Federal Government to halt brain drain in the health sector by improving conditions of service.

He added that plans were on to get medical and health professionals who have travelled abroad to visit home to work temporarily, or teach and train home-based doctors and nurses.

Speaking on revenue challenges faced by the government, Ehanire said “money needs to go into roads, electricity, transportation, water, security, and Nigerians don’t like to pay tax, whether individual or corporate”.

Earlier, HFN President, Pamela Ajayi said rather than focusing on challenges, the association was more concerned about solutions.

“So, we are having conversations around ‘Fiscal Framework for Promotion of Healthcare Sector Investment in Nigeria’, and ‘Healthcare Investment and Financing’. We are also talking about the new National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act,” she said.

Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]

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