Chris Ngige’s statement about doctors unfortunate – NMA

Chris Ngige

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have knocked the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige for saying that he was not worried about doctors leaving the country.

Ngige had said in a live programme on Channels TV on Wednesday that the country had more than enough doctors and that doctors were free to leave the country for supposed greener pastures elsewhere.

“We have more than enough, quote me.

“They (doctors) go out, sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here.

“We have foreign exchange earnings from them. Indians are doing it,” Ngige had said.

In reaction, NMA president, Dr. Adedayo Faduyile said Ngige’s statement was ‘unfortunate’ and that doctors should be encouraged to remain in the country through policies meant to improve the health sector.

He said: “That is an unfortunate statement which shows that he has done nothing in medical practice.

“The World Health Organisation stated that, for optimal healthcare to be achieved, we need doctor/patient ratio of one to 600.

“In Nigeria, we have 40,000 doctors taking care of 200 million people. It’s unfortunate; we do not have enough doctors. Maybe he is looking at the monetary part, but there is opportunity cost.

“We have the maternal mortality that is about the highest in the world. To correct it, we need health professionals around.”

NARD president, Dr. Olusegun Olaopa, said: “He spoke as a politician who does not know what is happening in the country.

“The doctors we are losing are not fresh doctors but specialists. That means that Nigeria will continue to battle with shortage of specialist doctors.”