As many as 200 Nigerian-trained doctors have been licensed by the UK government in just one month, reports Sunday PUNCH.
Checks on the website of the General Medical Council, the body which licenses and maintains the official register of doctors in the UK, showed that the GMC licensed at least 200 Nigerian-trained doctors between August 31, 2022 and 30 September 2022.
Statistics also showed that between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022, around 1,307 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed in the UK as Nigeria continues to struggle with one of the worst brain drain situations. of its history.
Overall, 10,296 doctors who graduated in Nigeria are currently practicing in the UK. However, Nigerian doctors who obtained medical qualifications from schools outside the country are not included in the data.
The migration rate of physicians has recently become a matter of concern. The Nigerian Medical Association, while lamenting the high rate of medical brain drain, had said that Nigeria might import doctors in the future.
In 2015, only 233 Nigerian doctors moved to the UK. The number increased to 279 in 2016 from 475 in 2017. In 2018 the figure increased to 852 while it increased further to 1,347 in 2019.
In 2020, the figure was 833 despite the GMC having closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The figure for 2021 has been set at 932.
Currently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
The National Chairman of the Association of Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, commenting on the situation said, “In the last two years, more than 500 consultants have left the services of government hospitals to practice in the ‘foreign. All of our public hospitals are consultant-led practices, which is the global standard. Today we are losing 500 in just two years and we have found that those most likely to leave are the youngest.
“To sustain the system and be able to train the next generation of doctors and medical students, Nigeria needs to retain older consultants who are in their 50s and nearing retirement so that they can stay back and train the next generation of doctors and medical students. Otherwise, the brain drain disaster would be doubled because you would lose the youngest and the oldest at about the same time, and you would find a system without consultants. This will affect the standard of care and the quality of care provided by hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Psychiatric Association of Nigeria said there was only one psychiatrist for every 900,000 Nigerians in the country. According to the APN, the country has less than 300 psychiatrists serving Nigeria’s estimated population of 220 million.
Speaking to one of our correspondents, NPC Chairman Prof. Taiwo Obindo said the World Health Organization’s recommendation is one psychiatrist per 10,000 people. He however said that many psychiatrists are leaving Nigeria due to the brain drain in the profession.
Obindo said, “With less than 300 psychiatrists working in the country, the ratio of psychiatrists to 220 million people will be around one in 900,000 when the WHO recommendation is one in 10,000. Some countries are even considering having one at 6,500 to 8,000.
The don said there was a need to train and retain more psychiatrists to stem the brain drain in the country.
He added, “I spoke with the President of Psychiatrists in Canada and he said that more than 150 Nigerian psychiatrists were known to them in Canada. In the UK it’s probably more and then you have a lot more in the US, working there. Thus, there are more psychiatrists trained outside the country than those who are inside the country. Well, we can add that a few died and a few retired, but that number can’t take into account the number we have in the field.
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