More Nigerian Doctors migrate to UK due to poor conditions at home
More Nigerians medical personnel, especially medical doctors are migrating outside the country, especially to the United Kingdom in search of greener pasture amidst the country’s battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
A report by the UK Medical Council showed that about 7,875 Nigerian doctors are currently practicing in the country’s former colonial master’s land.
The new wave of medical brain drain is coming against the background of complaints by many medical personnel of poor working environment and unattractive conditions of service in both private and public sectors.
Two weeks ago, the Nigeria Immigration Service stop 58 medical doctors from leaving the country for the United Kingdom.
The 58 doctors were recruited by NES Health Care, a UK-based firm that helps over 150 private hospitals to employ doctors from all over the world.
In an advertorial by the firm, the doctors were expected to work only 14 days a month and earn between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per year depending on the experience they have.
The GMC, which is the government body that maintains the UK’s official register of medical practitioners, also says India, Pakistan and Nigeria are the countries with the highest number of doctors practicing in the UK.
The NMA described the ongoing migration of medical doctors as “second peak of doctors’ mass exodus” after the mass departure of medical practitioners from the country in 1990s.
On its part, the NLC expressed concern about the poor health sector and doctors’ exodus, saying the nation was in trouble.
According to statistics obtained from the UK council’s website, Nigeria is the African country with the highest number of doctors in the UK. Egypt comes second with 7,034 registered doctors in the UK, while South Africa has the third highest African representation with 5,166.
Currently, there are 74,543 doctors registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria while 7,875 of the doctors practicing in the UK, translating to 10.5 percent of doctors registered to practice in Nigeria are in the UK alone.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that Nigeria currently has a shortage of medical doctors with a physician-to-patient ratio of four doctors to 10,000 patients. In the US, the ratio is 26 doctors per 10,000 people and 28 in the UK.