We can’t hold back doctors from leaving Nigeria, says Obi – Nexus News


Dr. Paschal Chigozie Obi, Chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, has disclosed that little could be done to prevent doctors and other health personnel from travelling out of the country to seek greener pastures, as they remain part of Nigeria’s foreign exchange-earners.

Obi made this known yesterday, during an oversight visit by the House committee to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos.

He said: “There is a limit to what human beings can do on the issue of doctors or professionals leaving the country for greener pastures. We have been doing our best in collaboration with the Federal Government to ensure there are good conditions of service for our professionals.”

“We held several meetings with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) and we hands-off when the matter went to court and we can’t do anything until the matter is withdrawn from the court because anything we do will be subjudice. So, we can’t interfere in the court process until it is settled. Right now, we are handicapped.

“We have invited JOHESU members to the table because they haven’t gone to court. We are trying to do our best to ensure that they don’t go to court. If they do, we will have no choice but to also hand it off.”

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), (LUTH), Prof. Chris Bode, who spoke on significant challenges in the sector, stated that strikes were causing instability in the system, and interrupting services, training and research.

Prof. Chris Bode

Similarly, Dr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare, a member of the House, said: “It is unfortunate that we are witnessing this. You need so much money to train yourself as a doctor overseas but here in Nigeria, what you need to get to be a doctor is a peanut compared to that. It is, therefore, so unfortunate that when you get trained here, those people call and poach our doctors.”

Also, the immediate past President of the Association of Community Pharmacists in Nigeria (ACPN), Samuel Adekola, has faulted the crisis facing the health sector in the country on the medical personnel taking the leading positions in the sector.

He, therefore, vindicated the recent 15-day notice issued by JOHESU and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) to commence strike.

Adekola, however, stated that there had been some medical personnel in the saddle that had integrity, emphasizing that they are engulfed by undue pressure from their colleagues to further ruin the system.

“The truth about it is that we have been unfortunate in Nigeria in terms of having people who will want to take the bull by the horn to solve the problem. I must say sincerely that the health security of Nigeria will not thrive having a particular group of persons heading it.

“Even if they want to do what is right, they continue to be under intense pressure from their colleagues. And this is why JOHESU insists on going on strike again,” he said.


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