The Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, has raised the alarm over the consequences of brain drain in the nation's health institutions, saying some departments in the teaching hospitals are shutting down due to the high rate of brain drain (Japa).
Newly-elected President of the association, Prof. Muhammad Muhammad who disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of MDCAN's 13th Biennial Delegates meeting and scientific conference in Kano, lamented that no fewer than 500 specialist doctors with specialty in teaching had migrated.
According to Prof. Muhammad, "The survey we conducted some two years ago shows that, about 500 specialist doctors have left Nigeria.
"These are apex of the profession. They are the ones that are involved in teaching and nurturing of new generation doctors from both medical schools and training specialist in Nigeria.
"With the alarming rate of migration ('Japa'), some departments are closing or left with one or two doctors who render services that were supposed to be rendered by 10 of them.
"It will take the country almost 10 years to replace the number by the rate at which we are producing. You can see that it is in alarming proportion. And after that, it has only gotten worse.
"The challenges of brain drain in the health sector have remained unabated with migration of highly skilled health care professionals not only out of Africa but also to the neighbouring West African countries.
"The Government is urged to as a matter of urgency; provide holistic solutions to the challenges of brain drain, which should include incentives that encourage retention of the already depleted health care human resource in Nigeria.
"If there is no improvement in current condition in terms of infrastructure, working condition and security, it will be difficult to prevent people from moving out ('Japa').
"Medical Education is under threat, mainly due to the large numbers of specialists and trainers migrating to other climes.
"A number of universities presently has less training quota than the manpower and infrastructure in the institution can effectively train.
"Concerted efforts should be made by the Governments to motivate its available human resources for health in order to sustain and improve on the quality of undergraduate and postgraduate medical trainings in Nigeria."