Diaspora health workers petition NASS over bill to stop doctors’ migration

Medical and Dental practitioners under the aegis of the Diaspora Medical Associations have petitioned the National Assembly over the bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services within Nigeria before being granted full licence to practise.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, medical practitioners said the bill could worsen the nation’s health crisis.

The DMA said the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act (Amendment) Bill sponsored by Ganiyi Johnson, which passed second reading at the House of Representatives last week is counterproductive and will not achieve its intended goal of addressing brain drain in the country.

The Diaspora Medical Associations in its statement said, “We recognise the problems posed by the exodus of Nigerian medical professionals from our health system including, but not limited to decreased access to health care services, lack of quality of care, care delivery deserts the inability to adequately enact healthcare and public health policy due to lack of manpower and leadership resource.

According to them, “Focusing on one aspect of a problem without taking a holistic approach to a sustainable solution will be ineffective. Young professionals leave the country in search of better opportunities. Many are frustrated by the consequences of governance failures that have progressively worsened over the past 30 years.

“The unfortunate reality is the healthcare system is in a state of serious neglect, training and career development opportunities are limited further impairing earning potential. Insecurity is rampant. Equity and Justice are lacking for the average Nigerian.”

The Diaspora Medical Associations are invested in crafting effective solutions and are willing to participate in fostering solutions to that extent.

“The doctors called on the Speaker to embrace the purposeful systemic solution and ensure that a ‘quick fix’ attempt does not worsen the situation.

The doctors also pledged to support positive changes, and growth of the health sector to stop and reverse the brain drain

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