More doctors and nurses are fleeing Nigeria daily for greener pastures and better pay in other countries.
Ekumankama Nkama, Minister of State for Health, has lamented the acute shortage of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals in government hospitals at all levels (local, state, and federal), including tertiary health institutions, as a result of the growing immigration syndrome.
During the weekend, the minister spoke at the inauguration of the bedded Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, and Labour Ward at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
According to Nkama, LUTH and other tertiary health institutions are experiencing a severe shortage of health professionals due to brain drain and work overload.
According to Dr David Atuwo, Director of the Ministry’s National Cancer Control Programme, “this ‘Japa’ syndrome is adversely affecting services in our hospitals, to the extent that some wards are closed due to a lack of personnel to handle them.”
Nkama added that the Federal Ministry of Health is working very hard to ensure that departing staff is replaced as quickly and seamlessly as possible, along with other government agencies, such as the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
“The ministry is also developing a brain gain mechanism to encourage our medical professionals living abroad to return home and provide paid expert services to our citizens. This is a win-win situation for the country and our skilled medical expatriates.“
The minister went on to say that the opening of the three projects demonstrated the dedication of the LUTH Board of Management and staff over the years, which led to the organization’s current success.
He described the projects as a source of pride and testimony, particularly for the departing Chief Medical Director.