The Chairman of the Committee of Chief Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals, Prof. Emem Bassey, has explained why Nigeria will continue to lose its doctors to foreign countries.
At the hearing of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Bassey said that countries like Gambia and Sierra Leone, pay four times the salaries Nigerian doctors earn at home.
He said, “added to that, the replacement of these health workers is a major problem,” and due to the urgency to replace various health professionals, to comply with federal character in recruitment becomes a barrier.
He noted further that governments in the past had reached ridiculous agreements in their bid to end strike actions.
Bassey added, “now they have agreements that they cannot implement. And then after a certain period, six months or one year and you have not implemented it, people now go on strike.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, urged the doctors to be patriotic and contribute to the development of the country, even with better options abroad.
He said, “I admit there is a lack of advanced medical facilities in our health sector. Governments must pay attention to that.
“We admit the brain drain and are trying to find solutions. But what are you telling your co-professionals about patriotism, about giving back to the society that gave you the knowledge?
“You cannot disown your father no matter how poor he is and adopt somebody’s father.
“No matter the rot within our public sector in terms of remuneration, let’s work together and see how we can find solutions to that.
“You have a very good defence for now in terms of federal character. So whatever this committee at the end of the day recommends to the government, it is going to be done.”