Health Sector: President Buhari charges health minister to stop brain drain


President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire to look into ways of turning the brain drain bedevilling the country’s health sector into brain gain for the country.

According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this when he received the new executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President in his remarks urged the association and other stakeholders in the health sector to engage top Nigerian medical experts in the diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation as well as support initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the Committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.

President Buhari also commended the NMA for its contribution toward tackling the dreaded coronavirus pandemic and consistent choice of peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the national health system.

‘‘Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.

‘‘I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment, the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, and Appeal for more funding for the four newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.

‘‘I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications,’’ Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who led the medical practitioners to the audience, affirmed that the doctors have been good partners with his ministry, helping to regulate the health profession as well as providing quality healthcare services.

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