“FG Not Worried Over Doctors Fleeing Overseas”-Chris Ngige

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Despite the worrying trend of Nigerian medical doctors fleeing overseas in search of greener pastures, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Ngige, says that his ministry and the entire Federal Government is not worried.



This is coming on the heels of the continuous report on the exodus of Nigerian doctors who have complained about the rot in the nation’s health sector.


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Ngige, while speaking during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily today, Wednesday, April 24, assured that Nigeria can afford to export doctors abroad because the country has more than enough to fill the vacuum created.



He said,



“No, I’m not concerned at all, I’m not worried. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export.


“It happened at one time with Indian teachers here. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days. They’re surplus in their country.



“We’re surplus in the medical field here. I can tell you, it’s my area. We have excess. We have more than enough.”


When he was further quizzed on if he doesn’t believe the exodus of doctors is hurting the nation’s health sector, he said it’s rather beneficial to the country.

He said,

“They (Nigerian doctors) go out, sharpen their skills, earn money and send back home here. We have foreign exchange earnings from them.


“Those guys go there. They’re better trained because of the facilities they have there.


“Eventually, I know some of them who have come back home with those facilities and opened up centres here. I know a doctor in America, he has a facility in Imo State now. So, you tell me that there’s a brain drain?”


When questioned about the shortage of medical doctors in rural areas, the former Anambra State governor said the Federal Government already provides enough incentives for doctors to work there.


“Those people who have finished their NYSC should embrace going to rural areas. We have incentives for them to go rural but a lot of them want to stay in the townships,” he said.


Recall that the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed last year that there’s a ratio of one doctor per 5,000 Nigerians, one of the highest rates in Africa. However, the current global recommendation is one doctor per 600 people.

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