Condition of Nigerian professors fuelling medical tourism – Doctor
A medical doctor and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Save a Life Group, Dr. Richard Okoye, has said the condition of professors, especially in the health sector, has increased the number of younger doctors traveling abroad for a better deal.
Dr. Okoye stated this during a media interaction at his office in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He stated that building a robust healthcare system was all about human capital development, saying it was important to reward people based on value addition.
Dr. Okoye, who would be decorated with the Sun Newspapers 2022 Public Service Award on Saturday, January 28, 2023 in Lagos State, stated that more attention must be paid to the country’s health sector.
He stated, “A hotel can be a structure of a hospital. It is the kind of service that is being delivered in that structure that makes you call it a hotel or you call it a hospital.
“So, when it has to do with people compelled to travel out of the country, it is because that particular robust healthcare system has not been built. And how will it be built? “You have a number of people that have what is called super specialties. When you have the right infrastructure you also need somebody to man it.
“The issue remains that a doctor that goes outside and gets trained in some of these advanced methods of treatment, while he will be there he knows how much these doctors earn by reason of getting extra from that super specialty. And out of patriotism and passion for the people he will return back.
“Only when he comes into the Teaching Hospital of a State Government owned hospital to do those things if the facilities are available to somebody by reason of the salary structure.”
Continuing, Okoye, who is the founder of Save a Life Hospital based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State added, “You belong to level 12.4 and that is your salary. You are killing that motivation the person came back with.
He emphasised that in the current dispensation, people were being paid based on the value they bring into the system.
He added, “There should be a complete restructuring of the salary scale by the federal government, particularly in the healthcare sector. Many younger doctors are zooming out of the country today, because they are discouraged by the state of their professors and senior colleagues.
“When they see a professor living miserable. He can’t even maintain his car. If you see the man, you can see poverty personified. And who you follow determines what follows you. You instantly know that this professor is where you are ending. So you are bound to take off.”
On the upsurge of cancer-related ailments in the country, Okoye said it was unfortunate.
“It is hurting that today that we don’t have cancer survivors in Nigeria. The reason is simple. It is because when people have the problem, they don’t know the cause of the problem and how to go about it,” he said.