By Muazu Shehu

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kebbi State chapter, lamented that in less than a year, no fewer than 10 consultants left the state for greener pastures abroad.

The association’s Chairman, Dr Murtala Muhammad Dandare, disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.

The Chairman spoke on the sideline of a Scientific Conference tagged Physicians’ Week 2022 organised by the NMA, Kebbi State chapter held in Birnin Kebbi.

Dandare lamented: “The way medical doctors and other health personnel are leaving this country on daily basis is very scary.

“Here in Kebbi State, in less than one year, over 10 consultants left the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin Kebbi.

“A consultant is the one that trains the younger doctors. This is a very serious threat not only to Kebbi State but to Nigeria as a whole.

“Government and all other relevant stakeholders need to come together to do the needful towards addressing this problem.”

He recalled that just last week their National President, Dr Roland Ogema announced that about 900 doctors left Nigeria for overseas in just less than a month, assuring that the case was highly alarming.

According to him, the medical doctors that decided to stay in Nigeria are overstretched, decrying that WHO specified a ratio of one doctor to 600 people but in Nigeria, one doctor is to 6,191 people, grossly inadequate.

The Chairman said the essence of the conference was to bring experts in the medical profession together to brainstorm on issues related to healthcare delivery and how to improve upon them.

Also in an interview, the keynote address presenter, Prof. Nasiru Muhammad, a professor of Ophthalmology from Usman Danfodio University (UDU), Sokoto said the conference, which was an annual event, focused on the Nigerian health system “at this critical point in the country’s history of democratic transition.”

The Don presented a paper titled: “Nigeria Health Delivery System and the 2023 Democratic Transition A Time to Change the Narrative.”

Nasiru, who is also a Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist (sabbatical), FMC, Birnin Kebbi, observed that Nigeria possessed great potential but was unable to put such potential to good use.

He lamented that if Nigeria’s human development index could be 0.36 meaning a person born in this country would only be able to attain his potential by just 36 per cent, adding that the figure did not represent the teaching of the country’s two major religions.

The Ophthalmologist pointed out that health ministries saddled with responsibilities of regulating the health sector were focussing more on public facilities allowing the private unchecked.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000 conducted a worldwide study to look at health systems and their performances, so, one of the key findings was that ministries of health of most countries across the globe focused more on what is happening in the public sector.

“They are supposed to regulate the private sector too, they permitted them to open, to see people and they should also pay supervisory visits to those private facilities to check what they are doing. But the finding showed that the focus is more on public facilities allowing the private on their own.

“In most countries High Court Judge positions: 3 suspended/recalled Chief Magistrates seek NJC’s intervention go to private facilities more than the public, meaning most of the healthcare provided is not being monitored by the ministries of health, who supposed to be the main stakeholders of the country’s health system,” he wondered.

Nasiru, therefore, appealed to the ministries of health of both states and federal governments to be alive to their responsibilities to save the lives of innocent Nigerians.

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