An average of 12 Nigerian medical doctors get registered in the United Kingdom every week, according to a report by Africa Check, a fact check website.
The report showed that as at April 25, 2018, the number of Nigerian medical doctors practising in the UK stood at 5,250.
The names of the over 280,000 doctors working in the UK are listed on the website of the General Medical Council, the body empowered by law to register and set professional standards for doctors in the country.
According to the survey, as at 2006, when the GMC first published the list of all the doctors in the UK, Nigerian doctors in the country were only 2,692.
Another 998 Nigerian doctors were added to the register between 2010 and 2015, an average of almost 200 doctors annually. In 2016, the number rose to 245 doctors, and in 2017, the number almost doubled as 439 Nigerian doctors received their UK licenses, making it a total of 5,060 Nigerian doctors in the country.
So far in 2018, 190 Nigerians have received their UK licenses, bringing the number to 5,250, or an average of 12 every week.
“The increase in Nigerian doctors migrating reflects the poor working conditions and low remuneration in the country, John Onyebueze, former president of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), told Africa Check.
“The last three years have been particularly bad for the health sector. There has been poor funding and general neglect. Doctors in Nigeria are frustrated because hospitals lack equipment.”
A recent survey carried out by the Nigeria Health Watch in collaboration with NOI Polls, showed that nine out of every 10 doctors in Nigeria are seeking to leave the country.
20 percent of the 705 doctors that took part in the survey said they know between 16 to 30 of their colleagues who have already left the shores of Nigeria. The reasons they cited for wanting to emigrate include: better facilities and work environment, higher pay and career progression.
Another 2017 survey by NOI Polls revealed that approximately 2,500 Nigerian doctors would leave the country for greener pastures abroad, and that out of the 72,000 registered doctors in Nigeria, about 35,000 were practicing abroad.
“Many Nigerian doctors are currently registered to write foreign medical exams such as PLAB for the UK (30 percent), USMLE for the United States (30 percent), MCCE for Canada (15 percent), AMC for Australia (15 percent) and DHA for Dubai (10 percent),” the survey further revealed.