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Brain drain: FG to implement “One for One Replacement” to close gaps in healthcare

The Nigerian Government revealed it will adopt a one-for-one replacement to close the gaps of doctors leaving and the replacements must be on the same level as those that have left.

This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the Healthcare Federation Of Nigeria 2023 Annual Conference held in Lagos on Friday.

The Minister noted that Nigeria currently has many doctors who are not employed as they can’t find a place for residency.

Replacement: Dr Ehanire said the Ministry had appealed to the civil service commission over closing the gaps with a one-for-one replacement strategy, he said:

  • “There are lots of doctors in this country who are not employed and some can’t even find a place for residency or internship.
  • “The levels of doctors leaving the country are the senior doctors that are well trained and that is where it hurts.
  • “We have appealed to the civil service commission to allow a one-for-one replacement to close the gaps of doctors leaving and the replacements must be on the same level as those that have left.

Returning doctors: The Minister added that some doctors left to advance their skillsets and are back in the country, he said

  • “We have asked all medical directors to fill these gaps”
  • “Some of our doctors travelled out to garner more knowledge on the technological advancement and expertise, some are back to give back to the country and that is a plus.”

Private Sector: Dr Ehanire urged that the private sector also has a huge role to play in developing Nigeria’s healthcare scene, in the areas of drug manufacturing and equipment procurement, he said:

  • “The health ministry is more interested in the health of Nigerians and that is why we are supporting the private sector to achieve universal health coverage.
  • “The private sector comprises people who are into drugs manufacturing, equipment procurement and lots more and that is why we are to put heads together to better the health of Nigerians.
  • “Through regular engagement like this, Nigerians will be able to enjoy inclusive and Sustainable healthcare”.

Dr Pamela Ajayi, the President of HFN, said Nigeria should look beyond our challenges and focus on finding solutions to some of these problems.

  • ”This conference is set-out to proffer solutions to some of these problems which cut across policy, healthcare financing and investment, health insurance, human resources crises and lots more.
  • ”The private sector has a lot to offer and build a healthcare sector that we all will be proud of.

What you should know

The Chief Executive Officer of Anthill Concepts Limited, Dr Emeka Okengwu told Nairametrics that Nigerians that have acquired skills abroad are willing and eager to invest their technical assets back home but in many instances are denied the capacity to do so because they may not fit into the system back home. This, he said, is due to poor infrastructure and facilities back home, where highly skilled professionals cannot fit in.

Also in an interview with Nairametrics, Professor of capital markets, Joseph Uwaleke, said whereas most Nigerians are willing to come back home, challenges such as insecurity and lack of opportunities put them in a difficult position. As a result, most opt to stay in the host countries where life is better and opportunities abound.

He contrasted the Chinese, Indian and Israeli experiences to Nigeria’s, citing that the environment to return to those countries is far more attractive compared to Nigeria.


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