Thursday, June 8, 2023

Brain Drain: NMA urges government to prioritise healthcare financing

NMA says prioritising healthcare financing by all tiers of government is critical to reversing the brain drain in the health sector.

• May 9, 2023

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says prioritising healthcare financing by all tiers of government is critical to reversing the brain drain in the health sector.

The association said this in a communique on Monday after its 63rd Annual General Conference and Delegates’ Meeting in Jalingo, Taraba.

The communique was signed by the association’s president, Uche Ojinmah and the secretary general, Jide Onyekwelu.

According to the communique, governments at all levels should, as a matter of urgency, prioritise healthcare, show better political commitment to healthcare financing and pay better and competitive salaries.

It called for a better working environment, rejigging the security architecture to protect lives and property, providing access to social amenities and increasing opportunities for doctors in Nigeria.

The communique also called on governments at all levels to urgently address the various cases of violence against healthcare workers in Nigeria by declaring the act as a national emergency requiring robust action.

“The AGC/DM specifically called on the National and State Houses of Assembly to pass protective laws to stop the violence and safeguard the rights of healthcare workers,” the NMA stated.

The NMA also “directed the management of health institutions to develop appropriate protocols in identifying and handling of potential cases of violence, develop effective communication strategy and promptly report cases of violence to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.”

The doctors also directed the association’s National Officers’ Committee (NOC) to follow up the case of the gruesome murder of “Dr Uyi Iluobe to a logical conclusion.”

The communique rejected the House of Representatives bill sponsored by Ganiyu Johnson proposing to make it mandatory for fresh medical graduates to provide services to Nigeria for five years before getting full registration and licence to practise or emigrate.

“Instead, the National Assembly should put pressure on the government to address the ‘push’ factors propelling brain drain, which has led to the mass exodus of doctors and other health workers for greener pastures,” the medical association noted.

It added, “The AGC/DM also called on the federal ministry of health to jettison the idea of forced bonding of doctors via a policy directive as it is against natural justice, equity and a good conscience and shall be stoutly resisted by the NMA.”


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