In a concerted effort to address the issue of brain drain in the healthcare sector, the Federal Government of Nigeria is taking steps to significantly increase the number of medical and dental doctors from 5,000 to 10,000 in the upcoming academic year.
This ambitious plan involves expanding admissions to medical and dental institutions across the country.
Dr. Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, unveiled this strategy during the induction ceremony for foreign-trained medical and dental graduates conducted by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria in Abuja.
Government to bolster healthcare
Alausa stressed that creating a more attractive healthcare environment within Nigeria is crucial to deterring licensed doctors and other healthcare professionals from seeking opportunities in more developed countries.
He emphasized that the current annual production of just over 3,000 doctors in Nigeria is insufficient to meet the nation’s healthcare needs, necessitating a doubling of the rate at which healthcare workers are trained.
Alausa stated, “Equally, we shall expand these opportunities to all other health professionals like pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, community health extension workers, radiographers, and others.
Although this will be in phases. We shall create room to produce more and excess because globally, there’s a shortage of health manpower, which has been estimated at a shortage of 18 million people.”
Furthermore, Alausa highlighted that his ministry’s primary focus remains on advocating for increased funding in the health sector and expanding the value chain to secure additional international grants and funding.
This multi-pronged approach seeks to address the shortage of healthcare professionals and enhance the overall quality of healthcare in Nigeria.