Doctors, nurses immigration affecting our health sector – FG

The Minister of State for Health, Ekumankama Nkama has lamented the acute shortage of doctors, nurses and other health professionals in government hospitals across all levels (local, state and federal) including tertiary health institutions due to the increasing immigration syndrome.

The minister said this while speaking at the inauguration of bedded Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, and Labour ward at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital during the weekend.

Nkama said LUTH and other tertiary health institutions are facing an acute shortage of health professionals due to the effects of brain drain and work overload.

Represented by the Director, National Cancer Control Programme of the ministry, Dr David Atuwo, he said, “This ‘japa’ syndrome is adversely affecting services in our hospitals, to the extent that some wards are closed for lack of personnel to man them.”

Nkama added that the Federal Ministry of Health with other government agents including the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is working very hard to ensure that exiting staff is replaced as soon and seamlessly as possible.

“The ministry is also working on a brain gain mechanism whereby our health professionals in the diaspora can be incentivised to come home and give paid expert service to our citizens. This is a win, win situation for the nation and our experienced medical professionals in the diaspora.”

“I am glad the Head of Service is here in person as her office has been very cooperative. Let me thank her profusely for all her efforts in this regard. The full implementation of this initiative will ensure that services are maintained at the present level.”

The minister continued that the inauguration of the three projects has shown the hard work of the Board of management, and staff of LUTH over the years and has resulted in the current success.

He described the projects as a testimony and a thing of pride, especially for the outgoing Chief Medical Director.