Shortage of medical doctors cripples Nigeria-Report

By Hassan Zaggi

There is shortage of medical doctors in Nigeria. This is because the country has fallen short of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended ratio one doctor to 600 population.

According to the Nigeria Health Workforce Country Profile-2018 which was launched by the federal government on Tuesday, revealed that Nigeria now has a ratio of one medical doctor to 2,753 population.

The workforce profile further revealed that Nigeria now has 36.3 doctors per 100,000 population as the country currently has 74,543 registered medical doctors.

More worrisome, the health workforce profile disclosed that a whooping 1,551 medical doctors applied to leave Nigeria for greener pastures in other countries of the world in 2018.

The Head, Human Resources for Health (HRH), Federal Ministry of Health, Shakusi kadiri, disclosed the data during the launch of the profile and handing over of the National Health Workforce Registry, in Abuja, Tuesday.

According to him, although there was a decline from the numbers recorded in 2007, there is, however, a progressive increase in the numbers from 656 in 2014 to 1551 medical doctors applying for letters of good standing or verification standing (a proxy for migration) in 2018.

Speaking, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, explained that “the registry is a single and authoritative source of authenticated and validated health workforce information in the country.

“It provides up-to-date information on all health workers under the employment of national and sub-national entities in both public and private sectors of the national health system.”

On his part, the WHO Officer in Charge in Nigeria, Dr. Clement Peters, noted that the Nigeria Health Workforce Registry serves as a database for accurate and timely evidence-based health workforce information that links health workers to administrative units and health facilities.

“The registry demonstrates Nigeria’s significant progress in achieving the Global Strategy for Human Resources for Health.

“It also sets the foundation for achieving the goal of the Strategic Pillar 3 and Priority Area 9 of the Second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) 2018 – 2022 of having in place the right number, skill mix of competent, motivated, productive and equitably distributed health workforce for optimal and quality health care service provision.”

Peters further revealed that the WHO, with funding from the Government of Canada, developed the prototype of the Registry, using the iHRIS Manage framework which is being used in several countries globally.

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