A study by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has revealed that up to 2,000 doctors have left Nigeria in two years, with 800 of them in the last eight months, averaging 100 doctors leaving monthly for greener pastures.
National President and Senior Registrar, Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia, Abia State, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, told The Guardian: “We did a study among our members to find out why they are leaving even though we have always known that when you are engaging the government without facts and figures, they may not understand the gravity of what you are talking about. So, this study showed that in the last two years, up to 2,000 doctors have left this country and in the last eight months, January to August, about 800 doctors left. When you do the matrix, it is about 100 doctors per month.”
Orji said some 4,000 others have indicated interest to emigrate.
The NARD boss observed that the major causes of the emigration were poor remuneration and welfare. He continued: “The economy is bad for everybody. But the truth is that these doctors are putting in their best and even putting their lives on the line.
“Also, the issue of insecurity, and of course, poor job satisfaction. We do not have enough equipment in hospitals to work with. You see a patient that you can help, but because of dearth of infrastructure and medical equipment, you are not able to help, and this leads to depression for some people.”
“So, we are trying to draw the attention of the government to these, not forcing the Nigerian government stop pay us like they do in America and other big economies of the world. But we know that even when you compare what doctors are paid in Nigeria to what obtains in some other countries with comparable economic status, you will see that those countries actually pay better. The root of all these is poor funding.”