Why Nigerian doctors are leaving country in droves
FRANCIS Adedayo Faduyile, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), says the reason Nigerian medical doctors are leaving the country can be summarised into three namely, poor remuneration, poor facilities in hospitals, which ultimately results in lack of job satisfaction.
Faduyile, a consultant pathologist and an associate professor, says doctors are tired of helplessly watching their patients die due to lack of adequate facilities in the hospitals.
Speaking during an interview with Premium Times, Faduyile said a doctor is supposed to see an average of 20 patients a day, but in Nigeria, doctors see s high as 150 patients daily, while a nurse that should cater for about four people, is left in charge of over 50.
Major reasons doctors are leaving, he said. are poor remuneration, poor facilities and working condition, and job satisfaction.
“Many of our health professionals are over worked” .
He said the Nigeria the working environment for many doctors is very hostile. Many doctors see patients that they can treat or intervene on their issues die in front of them because the hospitals where they work does not have the necessary equipment to take care of them.
“Many patients in dire need for help don’t have enough money for the kind of services they need at that particular time. I can tell you many doctors are spending fortunes on patients that they are not related to because it’s painful to see patients die.”
Faduyile advised the federal government to ensure that the National Health Insurance Scheme, which seems almost moribund at present, is revitalised and that more Nigerians get enrolled into the scheme.
“If we have our NHIS fully functional and we can always treat any patient, I can tell you many doctors will have job satisfaction because at the end of the day you have saved so many number of lives. But by the time you don’t have that, you will be dissatisfied,” he said.
On the remuneration of doctors, Faduyile said Nigerian doctors receive less than ten percent of what their counterparts in other countries are paid. He also pointed out that there are no added incentives for doctors posted to primary healthcare centres in the rural areas, hence the quest for every doctor to work in the urban areas.
“The remuneration of doctors is very poor, if you go to other climes, what we are paid here is just 10 per cent of what they collect and they respect doctors.
“Most PHCs are ran by the states and even the normal payment for doctors, many states are not even paying. Many states are owing doctors and other health workers an upward of nine-month salary. Many are being paid half salary for an upward of 18 months.
“So every human being naturally will look at those places where they will be much more appreciated.”
On what needs to be done to make Nigerian doctors stay back home, Faduyile said: “First is when you appreciate your doctors, it will make them to stay. Government needs to bring more equipment. We need to have more fund for health.
“(Secondly) The NHIS is one way to resolve this issue. If we have more enrolee and funds to it then there will be enough money to maintain the hospitals and to bring in equipment, to buy drugs and for doctors to be retained.”