The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Lagos State, has called for the introduction of a seamless exit replacement policy within the healthcare system in order to end the current brain drain affecting healthcare delivery in the country.
Worried over the acute shortage of health workers within the health system in Nigeria and Lagos in particular the State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Saliu Oseni at the association’s Elders’ Interactive Forum with the theme: Sitting with Elders to move NMA Forward, regretted that despite the alarming rate at which Nigerian doctors are migrating abroad, the country still has some doctors who are yet to get a placement. Oseni said: “A seamless exit replacement with regular employment will reduce the severe effects of the brain drain.
We have been talking about brain drain and we still have a lot of younger doctors that are still looking for placements. With a seamless replacement system, for instance, if you have 100 people managing the health sector for over a year and by the middle of the year, you have 50 people left; it should be automatic for you to replace the 50 that left. But that is not the case currently in the system.
This is part of the concerns at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, where doctors are currently on strike “Where I work, a doctor attends to between 50 and 70 patients within the clinic hours and basically you cannot get the best from that doctor.
We need to improve the health delivery and we should also remember that the doctors are human beings and they have their limitations.” Oseni said the problem was one of the reasons why the association organized the Elders ‘forum to look at some of the challenges facing medical practice in the state and tap from the knowledge of the older doctors in the profession.
“The poor health indices could be linked to some of the current issues affecting the business of the profession, non-implementation of laudable policies or the lack of appropriate health system auditing mechanism and the absence of structure for continued overhauling of policies/strategies that have proven to be inefficient in addressing the numerous challenges militating against the delivery of affordable, accessible and efficient healthcare.” Lamenting the exclusion of the NMA in the coming Board of the Lagos State Health Scheme in the key stages including the conceptualization and design of the scheme, Oseni warned against making Lagosians to be at the receiving ends of any unfavorable aftermath as currently being experienced from the failure of the NHIS.
stressed the need to develop policies that would positively impact young
doctors, as the future of the medical profession depends to a large extent on
their personal and professional well – being. In his lecture entitled: Leading
and Mentoring The Young Doctors: A task for the Elders”, Prof Pat Utomi who was
represented by the Dean School of Eloquence, Mr. Ubong Essien, noted that
mentoring was key in every profession, hence the need for elders in the medical
profession to mentor younger doctors to preserve the future of the profession.