‘Brain drain in health sector causing emergency’
The Chief Medical Director, University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo State, Dr Oluwole Ige, has expressed concern over the rate at which medical professionals are departing the nation in search of better opportunities abroad.
Dr Ige who stated that the country is in a dire emergency situation within the medical sector, called for urgent measure to salvage the trend.
The CMD stated this through the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Michael Gbala, on Wednesday, during the second induction of physiotherapists who recently graduated from the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.
While expressing mixed feelings that half of the 34 inductees were already nursing the ambition to board the next flights to developed countries, he appealed to medical personnel in the country to always give a second thought before leaving the shores of the country.
Dr Ige said, “You (inductees) are coming at a time that there is mass exodus of medical personnel. The university has taken about five years to train you, so Nigerians will be happy to have you around.
“If your lecturers had left, they will not be around to train you. We are in a very serious situation. Except something is done, we might be heading towards major crisis. I salute those who are still around despite the challenging situation.
“Wherever you may be, ensure to continue to retrain yourselves and be good ambassador of the institution.”
However, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Olusegun Fatusi who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Clinicals, Prof. Adolphus Loto, stated that the inductees can seek employment in any country they desire.
Prof. Loto advised the inductees to make sure they work in Nigeria before deciding to travel out of the country.
He said, “It is your right to seek employment anywhere in the world because it is part of the international labour mobility. But my advise is that before you leave, you must get a job here.
“Many cannot come back because there is nothing to fall back on. You have two goals in your career; to solve societal problems and personal problems.
“Our dear and wonderful inductees, we are proud of you and your achievement so far. The induction programme, as you have been well tutored, is not a mere ceremony. It is a critical rite of passage into a new life – the life of professional health workers, and specifically your entry into the distinguished and rewarding profession of physiotherapy.”
Speaking on the theme entitled ‘Professional, Mentoring and Leadership: Key to Excellence in Physiotherapy Career, an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Obafemi Awolowo University and the guest lecturer, Dr. Teslim Onigbinde, disclosed that the ratio of doctors availability is now one doctor to 6,400 patients.
Dr. Onigbinde appealed to the new inductees to always make themselves available for the latest updates in the world of physiotherapy in order not to be left behind.
Also, the Dean, Faculty of Medical Rehabilitation, Prof. Matthew Olaogun, advised the inductees to remain focused on their chosen career, and pursue what they have learned in the university with the spirit of godliness and excellence, while the Registrar, Medical Rehabilitation Body of Nigeria, Olufunke Akanni, represented by the Deputy Registrar, Mr Akinyele Adeniran, admonished them to be watchful of hospitals that would employ them during the mandatory 12 months internship.