A group of health experts have urged the federal government to address the shortage of health workers in Nigeria.
According to a report obtained from Vanguard News, experts have lamented the brain drain in the health sector.
They compared the increased shortage of health workers to a time bomb.
In the latest Health News in Nigeria, today, Health experts on Good Health Weekly addressed this problem. Specialists in the area of cardiology are constituting a challenge for patients with heart-related disorders. Other specialist caregivers are reducing by the day.
Data obtained by Good Health Weekly revealed that in Nigeria one cardiologist handles 400,000 patients.
A Nigerian Cardiologist and a member of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, NSC, sought the intervention of the Federal Government for:
i. A build-up of adequate and standard infrastructure.
ii. Proper provision and attendance to the welfare needs of medical manpower.
These would help reduce the impending damage in the health sector.
In another report, the President of the Nigerian Cardiac Society, Dr Ikechukwu Oga spoke on the brain drain in the health sector.
At the 50th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference in Lagos, they emphasized the:
i. Rise of cardiovascular disease.
ii. The massive brain drains of cardiologists.
iii. Their poor working environment.
Dr Oga also said that in Nigeria, the current statistics is one doctor to 400,000 patients.
He said: “We have about 500 cardiologists to over 200 million populations.
“It is possible that these 500 cardiologists are less because a lot of our people are migrating out of the country for lack of job satisfaction, monitory and otherwise.
“Averagely, we probably produce about 10 cardiologists per year. And, we are losing a lot, even those practising are largely concentrated in the big cities.
“Despite all these problems, we are making a lot of strides in the profession. Some years ago, we couldn’t do open-heart surgeries in many places in this country. We can’t even do what we call invasive procedures and noninvasive procedures in many places. Yet some of these things are being developed in many centres now.
“Times are hard but we are also working hard to make sure that patients don’t have to be going to India to have all these things.
“Since 2015, our members have carried out over 1000 surgeries in the country despite the problems and with good results.
“So it means that if all these centres are properly funded, we will have job satisfaction.
“We can do more and then keep the money that people are trading outside in the name of medical tourism into the economy.”
A Consultant Cardiologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH Prof Amam Mbakwen spoke about the migration of doctors.
She described their exit after training them as “annoying”.
Her words: “First of all, the facilities where we practice; the hospitals don’t give you tools you need to practice the skills that you have that is on one side.
“And then, what our colleagues do outside, we have to struggle to do it here and then after doing it, we are not paid anything commensurable.”
She continued: “Again, Nigeria is bleeding money because this is one place where we spend peanut to train doctors, most of the time, it is the government’s money that we use to train doctors. And then you finish training them and somebody poaches them, and they go to work for somebody else.”