Brain drain: Nigeria has enough medical doctors, says health minister

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says there are enough medical doctors in the country.

Speaking at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Ehanire said the federal government is working towards replacing any medical doctor who resigns and leaves the country.

He also said there was no embargo on the employment of doctors and other health personnel in the country.

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“There is no embargo on employing doctors; where there is a need, we do. But, because there is a Civil Service regulation, there are processes before doctors are employed.

“We have heard complaints of doctors who are now leaving the system but there are actually enough doctors in the system because we are producing up to 2,000 or 3,000 doctors every year in the country, and the number leaving is less than 1,000.

“It is just that the employment process needs to be smoothened,” he said.

The minister explained that the ministry was working with the Office of the Head of the Civil Service to use the ‘One-for-One’ employment strategy so that if one doctor or nurse resigns to go abroad another one is employed.

“So, if we have one replacement then you are not likely to have a shortage.

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“But that has been worked out because the Head of Service had the experience that in the past when one person goes, they use the opportunity to take three and those others may not even be people who are required.

“We want to use this policy so that we can reduce shortages and have our personnel back in our hospitals,” he said.

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