The federal government has acknowledged that the healthcare system in Nigeria is bedeviled with the challenges of brain drain, obsolete equipment, poor funding, among others.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, who stated this in Kano Friday, said the government was, however, determined to address all the pressing challenges in the Nigerian health sector.
On Saturday at least 5,600 Nigerian medical doctors have reportedly migrated to the UK in the last eight years with data from the development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) showing that between 2019 and mid-2022 at least 4,460 nurses migrated from Nigeria to the UK.
But speaking at the opening of the 13th Biennial Delegates Meeting and Scientific Conference of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), with the theme: “Medical Education in Nigeria at Crossroads: Challenges of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Education and Way Forward”, the minister said MDCAN had a pivotal role to change the poor state of healthcare system in the country.
He said, “The government cannot ignore the fact that there are problems of brain drain, poor funding, poor facilities and obsolete equipment.
“People, especially women in rural areas, are suffering due to lack of good facilities and access roads, causing maternal complications that sometimes lead to death.”
Pate, who was represented by Professor Abdulrahman Sheshe, Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), said the present administration had resolved to face all the problems and improve the health sector.
In his remarks, the President of MDCAN, Dr Victor Makanjuola, also lamented the exodus of medical consultants from the country in search of greener pastures.
He said, “Medical education, just as clinical service delivery, is taking a big hit from the exodus of consultants from the country to greener pastures. This is in addition to surreptitious turf encroachment often manifesting as curriculum upgrade by allied health professionals.
“The need to have frank discussion and innovate speedily to address these challenges cannot be overemphasised.”