President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Prof Mike Ogirima, yesterday expressed worry over the spate of migration of medical doctors from Nigeria to other countries, revealing that over 600 doctors had left between 2016 and 2017. Ogirima who said the country had continued to maintain poor doctor: patient ratio of 1: 4000 population, said the current migration was worsening the ratio.
He challenged governments at all level to urgently address doctor’s welfare to check what he described as ‘dangerous trend. “In 2016, a total of 227 doctors were reported to have migrated out of Nigeria. More often, the reasons are for better working environment. This has resulted into poor health indices for the country. “Presently, due to the continued brain drain, the country’s doctor-patient ratio is one doctor to 4,000 patients.
This is contrary to the one doctor to 600 patient ratio recommended by the World Health Organisation, WHO. Ogirima spoke at the National Executive Council, NEC, 2017 meeting of the NMA with the theme: “Exodus of Healthcare Professionals, Time To Act Is Now.” The Sub-Themes are: Doctors in Politics: How Far and How Well?; Rising Non Communicable Disease Deaths: Time For Effective Interactions; Economic Recession and Depressed Doctors: Effects On Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria; and Housing and Health.”