Osinbajo decries large exodus of Nigerian doctors

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

The Nigerian Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday decried the way Nigerian doctors were leaving the nation in droves saying the government now has an opportunity to bring back the doctors.

Mr. Osinbajo, who spoke at the 60th-anniversary celebration of the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, said that the dismal levels of job satisfaction caused by poor healthcare system in Nigeria were responsible for the “alarming” brain drain in the country’s health sector.

The vice president’s remarks comes a few days after the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Lagos State branch, Olumuyiwa Odusote, lamented the exodus of doctors from Nigeria.

The Punch newspaper quoted Mr. Odusote as saying, “The health crisis in Nigeria is unprecedented as the mass exodus hits an alarming proportion.

“Already, it takes a new patient two to three hours to see a doctor. Over 100 doctors have resigned from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, this year; about 800 doctors resigned from Lagos State hospitals in the last two years, and over 50 in November alone.

“Kebbi State has been unable to employ a single doctor in two years despite multiple adverts for employment; over 200 doctors and nurses have resigned from Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital this year.

“Seventy per cent of Nigerian doctors are making plans to leave for foreign lands and are taking exams to that effect,” the NMA chairman said.

The vice president in his speech at the UCH, acknowledged that “the last few decades have not exactly been a stellar period for healthcare in Nigeria.”

He pointed out underfunding, neglect and corruption as the major problem affecting the sector.

“Medical workers know more than the rest of us that, without acknowledging and diagnosing a condition, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to prescribe and implement the appropriate solutions,” Mr. Osinbajo said, before pointing out what needed to be done to restore the country’s healthcare system.

“First we must create the right conditions at home, by investing in infrastructure, and vigorously fighting the corruption that underlies much of the decline and rot.

“We must also as a matter of urgency redefine our approach to healthcare delivery, management of healthcare institutions and enabling the private sector a prominent place in our healthcare delivery”, he said.

Mr. Osinbajo praised the UCH’s pioneering effort in different areas of medical sciences.

“Since those early days, UCH has gone on to open new frontiers in health care service delivery. It was the first medical institution in Nigeria to launch Nuclear Medicine services, the first to introduce Palliative and Hospice Care services for end-of-life and chronic debilitating diseases, and the first to open a Geriatric Centre in Africa – the Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre, which began operations in 2012, and today, we’ve just commissioned the Adebutu Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

He added, “UCH is also responsible for pioneering interventions in heart and brain surgery in Nigeria, as well as the development of the award-winning Bladder Manikin, which has been patented for use as a medical teaching-aid in low-income countries.”

Mr. Osinbajo said that the UCH was among the initial eight tertiary health facilities that the Buhari administration will be upgrading, through the investment of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA.


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  • Dr Bunmi Binitie

    Thank God the health sector is now finding its way to the FG’s front burner. It is heartbreaking for a doctor to know what to do for the patient but be helpless to do it and helplessly watch the patient die.

    It is not just for money that most doctors left the country. Practicing medicine in western countries gives joy and great fulfilment which are lacking here.

    However, doctors too will need a new commitment to duty becos medicine is a DIVINE CALL by the Maker of those in our care and not just a job.

    • Julius

      Sis, there are more Nigerian Doctors practicing medicine , doing well and being recognized in the western countries than back home in Nigeria. I asked one why won’t he relocate back home and he told me he did but moved back . He didn’t have to tell me why because I understood why. We left the conversation alone. It’s sad.

      • abodes_124

        The rate at which Nigerian doctors are abandoning the health care delivery system both internally for the private sector and externally to other countries has turned from a race to a stampede. The recent disjointed announcement banning all those in the public sector from private practice in there spare time has added to a haemorrhage of the more specialised and experienced doctors from the top end. It is a complex problem which the government needs to look at and find helpful solutions without coming out with cack handed policies that exacerbate the situation. Osinbajo please help.

        • Julius

          I totally agree , some of the so called policies of the government is contributing to the problems and they must be looked into to reverse the trend. Yes, hopefully the VP can help in that regard.

      • Dr Bunmi Binitie

        Its just too painful…

        • Julius

          Yes, it is !

    • abodes_124

      Sister Bunmi, I am very impressed by the length . tone and content of this post. Please keep it up. We are all seeking a better Nigeria.

  • chinedu

    My people say that you will know the taste of faeces from the odour of the fart. If this administration is waking up three years into their reign to one of the key factors that led to the change by the Nigerian electorates,it means there was no agenda from the beginning. I can’t understand this late awakening more so that the president was sick,getting attention from his doctor in UK before elections and continued same after inauguration as the president of Nigeria. If tackling the health sector was important to them,immediate attention would have been given. But trust them,as far as they can easily fly out in our air ambulance to any country of their choice the rest of us can burn in Nigeria to the degree we want. I think this talk is about the next election. Shame to our political leaders.

  • Mentus

    Maybe if Osinbanjo and his boss did not allocate so much money for their travels, including hopping over to UK for medical check ups, more money could have been available for medical equipment or even a few doctors salaries. I am sure it would have improved chances of job satisfaction in the medical sector.

  • Wetin Naija

    Nigeria politicians are overpaid for doing anything, while the professionals get paid nothing

    • FreeNigeria

      Overpaid for stealing

  • thusspokez

    The Nigerian Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday decried the way Nigerian doctors were leaving the nation in droves saying the government now has an opportunity to bring back the doctors.

    Yemi Osinbajo doesn’t seem to realise that he is now in government and not in opposition. He still seems to be in preacher/professorial/opposition mode.

    His government continues to be in loggerheads with the doctors and despite himself talking about the drain to the Nigerian economy of medical bills incurred by Nigerians in foreign clinics, his government doesn’t still seems to take the dire health system seriously enough to allocate it more resources in the budget. Soon the preacher’s Nigerian audience will start getting bored listening to his sermons.

  • Clement Ndukwe

    Mere talks and observations, like this one made by our Vice President do not impress anybody, we have heard so many of such, yet no action. What is needed is immediate action. It was shocking and embarrassing that the Federal Government of Nigeria preferred to fly the former VP abroad for medical attention rather than work with the experts in Enugu to know where to assist in terms of facilities that may be lacking to effectively manage the elderly statesman. This is Nigeria, I do not believe that any solution is in sight, I am almost through with my papers to check out, there is no going back.

  • FreeNigeria

    Which hospital are they going to practice? Your mortuary you and your family don’t frequent, is that where you want them to work.

  • obiora

    This is not story. Those Doctors are better people than Oshi-mbaji. He himself studied Law and drop it for Pastor where Money is.

    • Mizch

      Dropped law for pastor
      Dropped pastor for politics
      Will drop politics for “the other room.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Sir, some doctors in this country are getting paid as low as N70,000 a month and work as long as 3days straight atimes… and you people don’t even mention nurses at all as if those ones are there as slaves, getting paid as little as N40,000 (what some drivers collect) in some regions and that is if they get paid at all for months. If their pairs in school that did business admin and yoruba in Uni is now in the bank and collecting about N350,000 for working in a bank, How do you expect them to feel. Nigerian doctors now prefer to work for health insurance companies than save lives in hospitals. Their pairs in Europe, Australia and US are living like kings for dedicating their lives to being great healers after school and praised by their leaders. where our own leaders here are getting paid millions for talking. Nobody should blame them o. Its our fault that this is happening and we must fix it and pay this people better and on time and stop accusing them of not doing their work well or useless and all these nonsense we spew around about health workers. Their job is too much stress for no pay.

  • Message66

    As usual all talk talk talk. Your 2018 budget for health and federal hospitals doesn’t reflect anything innovative or ground breaking. Doesn’t show any building of new hospitals, specialized health centers, has no information on any program to improve health infrastructure, absolutely nothing. Even the 2017 budget had Aso rock clinic budgeting greater than teaching hospitals combines. Even this speech at Ibadan has nothing new the Federal Government is saying to the medical community.
    So why go over there to deliver a speech that has no bearing and carries no weight?
    Typical Nigerian politician.

  • Anieke Emeka

    Just like the aso rock clinic.politicians forgot that we are all Nigerians.

  • Mizch

    Do people hear themselves when they speak? This man has employed more aides than the president. How many doctors did he employ to manage Aso Rock clinic?

    • thusspokez

      This man has employed more aides than the president

      More than half of them are his tribespeople. And yet he sees himself as enlightened, and not the old-fashioned tribalist that he actually is.

  • Mizch

    A very low defense point. F9!!!!

  • Alex

    That’s 44 years of service & you’re not retired.

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Ah! Another son of Satan who abuses his mother at home! You can abuse her becos she failed to give you home-trainning; but not me! She is the liar and you the son of Satan the father of liars!

      Who told you i have not retired? Retirement does not take a doctor out of contact with hospitals

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Oh you quickly deleted.the “liar!” at the end of your comment? Good. But sorry, i had replied before you did. Next time learn not to be abusive