According to the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), only 24, 000 actively licensed physicians remain in the country following a recent brain drain.
Ojinmah Uche, President of the Nigeria Medical Association, stated during a policy dialogue on Nigeria’s health sector brain drain and its implications for sustainable child and family health service delivery, that 24,000 actively licensed physicians care for Nigeria’s over 200 million population.
Speaking at the event organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the Partnership for Advancing Child and Family Health at Scale project of the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Ojinmah noted that based on the World Health Organisation established minimum threshold, a country needs a mix of 23 doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 population to deliver essential maternal and child health services.
“Only one doctor is incredibly available to treat 30,000 patients in some states in the South; while states in the North are as worse as one doctor to 45,000 patients. In some rural areas, patients have to travel more than 30 kilometers from their abodes to get medical attention where available thus Nigeria making access to healthcare a rarity.”
Ojinmah further blamed the brain drain on poor funding of the health sector, stressful medical education, non-existent house job slots, difficulty in gaining employment, poor remuneration, unnecessary and unhealthy inter-professional rivalry, insecurity, among others.