Mass migration of medical staffs disturbs MHWUN

You are currently viewing Mass migration of medical staffs disturbs MHWUN
NUJ congratulates Minjibira as new national preisent of MHWUN

Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has said that available records from the British government showed that a total of 18,224 Nigerian health workers were granted visas by the United Kingdom in one year. It said that the worrisome brain drain in the country ‘s health sector was becoming really scary.

According to the union, Nigeria presently tops the list of emigrant health workers in Africa as the number of Nigerians under the health and care skilled work visa has risen by 215 percent (18,224), from 8,491 in 2022 to 26,715 as at end of 2023.

Quoting the figures from the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), National President of MHWUN Kabiru Minjibir, also said that about 75,000 nurses from Nigeria had left the shores of the country to practice their trade in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia and others between 2017 and 2023.

Minjibir gave the mind-blowing statistics in a speech delivered at the 11 Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of MHWUN at the weekend in Abuja.

He lamented that the current economic woes in the country was impacting negatively on the health sector, adding that workers in the health institutions in Nigeria were worst hit as the economy continues to degenerate.

He blamed the exodus of health professionals from the country on the poor welfare conditions and dilapidated facilities, saying that many health workers who were unable to stand the heat chose to leave for foreign countries.

Giving further insights on the state of affairs in the country’s healthcare system, Minjibir said: ” Today in Nigeria, the doctor to patients ratio has ballooned to about one doctor to 5,000 patients. Instead of one nurse to 144 patients, the figures have shut to one nurse to 1,660 patients. The result is that the few remaining health workers are overloaded with an overwhelming healthcare burden of a population of over 220 million people”.

In the area of welfare, Minjibir said the remuneration structure and delivery in most of Nigeria’s public health institutions constituted a disgrace.

The medical profession

He said that a comparative analysis of the salaries earned by doctors in Nigeria and five developed countries showed that from 2019 and since the adjustment of the minimum wage to date, an average doctor in Nigeria earns about $5,912.

“In contrast, an average medical doctor in Canada earns about $75, 460. Doctors in the US earn about $79,400 annually while those in the UK earn an average $63,600. In Germany, a doctor earns about $143,500 in a year while it is $83,927 in France and $70,386 in Italy. This humongous difference in salary applies to other cadres of health workers,” he said.

Minjibir said that it is not only doctors and nurses that are leaving the country but other health professionals in fields of radiography, laboratory science and technicians, Morticians, community and environmental health workers.

He said that another worrisome dimension is that most of the health workers that left the country were hardly replaced thus compounding the occupational stress of the few remaining workforce in the health facilities.

However, MHWUN president said that there are still many Nigerian health workers who are willing and committed to stay in the country and make sacrifices despite poor remuneration but that they are being discouraged by an unattractive work environment.

On the efforts made by the union to improve the situation in the health sector, Minjibir said that both MHWUN and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have had a series of engagements with the federal government which culminated in the signing of several agreements. He said that some of the successfully negotiated agreements include: The Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), increased hazard allowance for health workers, consultancy status for different health sector professionals, COVID-19 allowance, wage award and the flagship (CONHESS) adjustment, among others.

Nigerian medical doctors

Apart from ensuring that the conditions of work, especially health infrastructure, are standard, Minjibir said that the government should overhaul public health policies to ensure adequate healthcare financing, investment, research and innovation.



Leave a Reply