The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has stated that there may be a need in the future to hire doctors from other nations due to the tendency of medical professionals leaving the nation for better opportunities elsewhere.
The country’s health system will completely collapse, according to the NMA, if immediate action is not done to address the deteriorating situation.
On Tuesday, August 16, during the official launch of the 2022 scientific conference with the theme “National Health Authority Act – The Sound Bites,” Dr. Ayotunde Fasunla, Chairman of the Oyo State NMA, sounded the alarm.
In light of the significant migration of Nigerian doctors to Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and other African nations, the body also demanded the declaration of a state of emergency in the health sector.
According to him, the health sector will receive about 4.2% of the national budget in 2022, which is much less than the minimum 15% suggested by the African Union (AU) at the Abuja Declaration.
“The infrastructure deficit is such that some of our hospitals spend a significant amount of their internally generated revenues on diesel to ensure power supply.
“There is scarcity of funds to apply for equipment upgrade, manpower development or even recruitment of new staff.
“Many of our hospitals are grossly under-staffed. Even the process of replacing migrating staff is bogged down by a rigid and insensitive government bureaucracy.
“It is our plea to the government to commit more funds to the health sector so that the system does not collapse or Nigeria may begin to import medical doctors.
“Only healthy people can have the will and strength to contribute to the growth and development of a nation’s
“Therefore, I call on well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists, and non-governmental organisations to join hands with the government to improve the conditions of the health system in the nation, especially Oyo state. It is obvious that the government cannot handle it alone.” He said.
Dr. Taiwo Ladipo, the Oyo State Commissioner for Health and a representative of Governor Seyi Makinde, attended the ceremony as well. He mentioned that from 2021 to 2022, the state hired 530 or so medical and healthcare professionals.