The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, says he is not happy that Nigerian doctors are leaving the country for greener pastures. Labour Minister Chris Ngige had recently said Nigeria had more than enough doctors and that those wanting to relocate to other countries in search of greener pastures were free to do so.
But speaking in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, yesterday at the Annual General Conference/Delegates meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association, the health minister decried the increasing rate of brain drain in the health sector.
Adewole, represented by the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Dr Emeka Onwe, said:"I am not particularly happy with the latest trend of doctors leaving the country to other lands for greener pastures. "We shall continue to ensure the welfare of the health workforce is improved. Our effort at centralising the internship posting of newly graduated doctors has received the support of FEC and will be rolled out within the year".
The minister also decried the inability of several state governments to recruit and keep medical doctors, including specialists, in their secondary and tertiary care hospitals.
"In many cases most local governments' health facilities do not have a doctor. These are unrelated to poor welfare and remuneration package at various levels amongst other factors", he said.