By Hassan Zaggi
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has decried the rate of brain drain in the health sector which, according to him, has resulted in the shortage of essentially needed health care professionals in the country.
He further regretted that Nigeria is currently facing human resource for health crisis with unequal distribution of available workforce.
Osinbajo made this known at the 39th Annual General Meeting/Scientific Conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) in Kaduna.
The conference was with the theme: Human Resources Challenges of Residency Training: The Nigerian Situation in the Global Mix.
Represented by the Minister of State for Health,. Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Osinbajo said: “Government recognizes that human resource is critical in the provision of quality health care as evidenced by statistics from the National Human Resource for Health Strategic Plan of 2008 – 2012 which indicates that areas with the lowest concentration of health professionals have the worst health indices in the country.”
He reiterated that the federal government is making concerted efforts to resolving some of the associated problems that make doctors leave for other countries, thereby worsening the trend of inadequate medical personnel in the country.
Among other efforts, he said, is the accent to the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA), 2017, “which is with the intention to encourage the Resident Doctors by providing an improved system and structure for their training and welfare; as well as ensuring that some degree of private sector involvement is provided to make the needed facilities and equipment available that will result in the success of the resident training programme.”
The Vice President, therefore, called on the Resident Doctors to partner with the government to ensure that the challenges are surmounted.
Earlier, President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Olusegun Olaopa, noted that there is no better time to discuss the theme of this year’s AGM than now.
This, he said, is because the myriad of problems bedeviling Nigeria’s health sector can all be linked to brain drain which has left the citizenry with an ineffective healthcare system and deteriorating record of low health indices.
In order to address the situation, he advised that a sound and effective Residency training was key to a functional healthcare system as this is the only means of ensuring availability of specialist services to Nigerians.