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Brain drain: Medical fellows call for continuous training of doctors

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The President, Postgraduate Medical College Fellows’ Association, Professor Akinsanya Osibogun, has urged the Federal Government to focus on training and retaining skilled medical professionals in Nigeria.

He said that around the world, there is high demand for skilled professionals in the health sector especially in the UK, U.S. and Canada.

The professor made the call while speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the 17th Annual Scientific Conference and All Fellows’ Congress, held in Ilorin.

The programme was themed, ‘Improving Health Care Financing In Nigeria: Technology in Medicine and Public-Private Partnership’.

Prof. Osibogun urged the government to stem the brain drain known as ‘Japa syndrome’, where skilled professionals are leaving the country for greener pastures abroad.

He said, “To retain your skilled professionals, you must give enough incentives to keep them here. And incentives are both financial and non-financial.”

The expert identified poor remuneration and lack of adequate infrastructure as major challenges confronting medical practitioners.

“We know that government alone can’t do it. So, all stakeholders have to put in place mechanisms to improve the health sector and retain people we have trained in the country.

“The only way to retain them is by improving on their work environment so that all equipment needed to render services are available.

“Medical practitioners have to be well remunerated and the environment must be conducive to keep them in the country,” he said.

Prof. Osibogun observed that younger doctors are migrating out of the country, adding, “We need those younger doctors to be available for us to train them to become specialists and remain in Nigeria.

“As a country, we need to come up with plans to ensure that required equipment is available geopolitically, statewide or by ward.”

He, therefore, enjoined all tiers of government to improve on remuneration for healthcare workers, and provide a conducive working environment, tools and equipment.

The Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the ASCAF conference, Dr. Foluwasayo Ologe, had earlier described the theme of the programme as apt, noting that there is a need to improve healthcare financing in Nigeria.

According to him, it is expedient for public-private partnerships to support the healthcare system in the country.

The professor of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Ilorin, asserted that the days of crude medicine is long gone as technology has taken over.

“A lot of technology goes into medicine. Through technology, robotic surgery helps in surgical intervention without the doctor being near the patient,” he added.

On his part, Consultant Chemical Pathologist, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Professor Adekunle Okesina, explained that the primary function of the college is to produce specialists in all branches of medicine and dentistry.

According to him, it oversees the postgraduate medical education and training of pathologists in Nigeria through its Faculty of Pathology.

(NAN)

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