The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) chapter, has advocated for improved welfare and enhanced remuneration to tackle the alarming rate of brain drain in the health sector.
Badmus Kabir, the association’s vice-president, told journalists on Sunday in Zaria that brain drain, popularly known as ‘Japa Syndrome,’ has been one of the major issues depleting the human resources for health in Nigeria.
The union leader noted that two years ago, NARD members at the ABUTH branch were far over 500, but the register has depleted to a little above 400 members because of migration.
He explained that the figure excluded the doctors who had exited the residency training or those who transferred their services to other health facilities.
“Two had transferred service from ABUTH to another part of the country where they felt safer, and the scenario is worse in some departments where you have only two or three young doctors,’’ he said.
Mr Kabir added that ‘the Japa Syndrome’ was extending down the ladder as more younger doctors were in the process of leaving.
He said it was unhealthy for the healthcare system, as the trend caused excess workloads on doctors, adding that the patients were at the receiving end and suffered a lot.
Mr Kabir added that the senior doctors see patients on specialised days. He said that with a few doctors, patients with non-emergency medical conditions would be booked to see their doctor’s case after four months or thereabouts.
The union leader urged the government and relevant stakeholders for improved welfare and enhanced remuneration to tackle the alarming rate of brain drain in the health sector.
”Doctors are living on the same salary scale since 2009 in spite of the harsh economic realities in the country, hence the agitation by NARD for an increase in wages,’’ Mr Kabir said.
The union leader said that over 70 per cent of their members on grade levels three and four of the consolidated medical salaries did not receive their August salaries.
Aisha Abdulkadir, the public relations officer of ABUTH, confirmed the development.