The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called on the Federal Government to urgently address the brain drain challenge being currently witnessed in the health sector.
The NMA President Prof. Innocent Ujah made the in Abuja at a news conference to begin the association’s 2021 Annual Physician Week with the theme “Nigeria in the COVID-19 era: Health systems strengthening for national security and prosperity”.
Represented by Dr Enema Amodu, the Chairman, NMA FCT chapter, Ujah said that the issue of brain drain among medical doctors needed government’s urgent intervention to put a stop to it.
He said that the consequences of turning blind eye to this challenge would be ominous earlier than expected if government did not do something about it.
He said that incentivisation of healthcare workers would motivate them to work harder and give their best as health “is a wealth and is better than wealth”.
He also called on the government to invest more and finance the health sector, adding that COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the poor management of the sector with dilapidating health facilities.
Ujah said that the rot in the health sector had necessitated the call for a total overhaul with the need to improve on budget allocation and effective implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He also urged the government to enact a law that would make NHIS compulsory for all adults in the country as well as exploring alternative healthcare financing initiative like the proposed health infrastructural bank by the NMA.
The NMA President also condemned in strong terms the kidnapping and killing of doctors and other health workers by insurgents in Anambra, adding that government must do all it could to rescue the kidnapped victims.
He urged government to ensure the security and safety of health workers as well as that of other Nigerians.
He also called on state governments owing doctors their salaries and allowances to pay to prevent further frustration among the workforce as solving these issues could potentially address the brain drain.
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