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West African Physicians Decry Exodus Of Young Doctors

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The West African College of Physicians (WACP) has lamented high rate at which Nigerian and African trained young doctors are leaving the continent to seek greener pasture in advanced countries.

The chairman/vice president of the college, Professor Abel Onunu made the lamentation in Kaduna yesterday while addressing journalists ahead of the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the college commencing in Kaduna today.

Professor Onunu said Nigeria spends huge resources to train the doctors who later move to countries that have not invested a dime in their training.

The Professor expressed fear that, there may come a time when Nigeria will lack adequate and competent hands to manage its health sectors if nothing is done urgently, especially when old hands must have retired.

In the same vein, he lamented the high rate of medical tourism in the country, blaming it on lack of infrastructural development and the lack of political will to invest adequately in the health sector.

According to him, Nigerian medical practitioners are among the best hands in the world and can handle any medical case no matter how severe, but they are incapacitated due to obsolete infrastructure.

“We have over 3,000 Nigerian doctors in the United States alone and they are doing very well. In fact, some of those who go on medical tourism abroad are often surprised when they get there and meet Nigerian doctors attending to them,” he said.

He therefore identified massive investment in healthcare infrastructures, as well as training and retraining of practitioners as ways out of the problem.

Professor Onunu assured that the meeting which has “Enhancing Performance of Health Care System in Nigeria” as its theme, is expected to discuss the challenges of the health sector, with a view to finding immediate and lasting solutions to them.

Among dignitaries expected at the opening ceremony include the Minister of Health and director general of health parastatals.



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