Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions Assembly (JOHESU/AHPA) of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have expressed fears that more health workers may leave Nigeria next year to seek greener pasture.
The workers also threatened to embark on industrial action if the federal government goes ahead to stop budgetary allocations to professional regulatory councils.
In a letter to the minister of health, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, the union warned; “If this phenomenon is not managed, we estimate that over 25 percent of the practitioners in Nigeria will join the exodus for greener pasture abroad.’’
The union therefore demanded a directive to the Budget Office to stop forthwith the attempt to stop budgetary allocations to all professional regulatory councils in the health sector to forestall |our endorsing the clarion calls by members to withdraw their services to press home their demands.
In the letter signed by the acting national secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Matthew Ajorutu, the union claimed that the directive of the Budget Office initially affected all the professional regulatory councils, including the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), which regulates medical and dental practice in Nigeria.
Ajorutu said, “The directive of the Budget Office initially affected all these Professional Regulatory Councils, including the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). But in moves typical of some MDAs in the country, only the MDCN has been cleared to continue to enjoy government funding as proposed in the budget of N11 billion in the 2023 estimates.’’
He warned against ‘’imminent consequences that will confront consumers of health in Nigeria if the minister does not rescind the retrogressive and damaging directive of the Budget Office.’’
The consequences, he said, would make practitioners of the different professional cadres more vulnerable to unlawful and unethical practices.