Anti-migration bill poorly researched, ill-advised — NARD, NMA

THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) have said the anti-migration bill was ill-advised, poorly researched and would not benefit the health sector.

The bill, according to NARD vice president, Dr Nnamdi Nd-Ezuma, is an oppressive approach to solving the brain drain crisis in the country’s health sector.

Nd-Ezuma spoke during a Twitter Space organised by The ICIR on Wednesday, April 12.

The anti-migration bill, otherwise known as ‘A Bill for n Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act’, primarily seeks to reduce the rate at which medical professionals leave Nigeria for greener pastures abroad by withholding full licences until they have worked for at least five years in the country.

The bill passed the second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 6.

Speaking on this bill during The ICIR Twitter Space, Nd-Ezuma accused the Federal Government of trying to stop the movement of doctors rather than address the root factors responsible for the brain drain.

“The bill is ill-advised. One thing we can agree on is that we have realised that there is a problem, but how to go about it is where we have a challenge. You can’t be making a bill concerning doctors and not calling the stakeholders together.”

He said the research for the bill was abysmal and that the government excluded stakeholders in the medical sector from the process.

“We shouldn’t discuss such bills; we must go back to all the committees and policies set up and see how far we can’t implement those policies.

“NARD resists this bill; we are not accepting it, and we don’t even consider it a thoroughly researched bill,” he said.

Also, the vice president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Daniel Olarewaju, who also spoke during the Twitter Space, described the bill as oppressive and anti-people.

He classified the bill as “burning a house down to exterminate rodents”.

    He noted that the bill is wrong and discriminatory and “should never be allowed to see the light.”

    “They know the root causes of brain drain, and you are going around trying to pass a bill to stop doctors from leaving the country.

    “Before passing such a stifling and repressive bill, you must address the cause of the mass exodus of Nigerians, not just doctors, from the country.

    “You need to research and know why doctors are leaving the country in large numbers,” he said.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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