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Brain drain: Equip yourself with more skills – expert urges doctors

Health workers in Nigeria have been urged to equip themselves with more skills rather than leaving the country for greener pastures. Addressing newsmen in Lagos…

Health workers in Nigeria have been urged to equip themselves with more skills rather than leaving the country for greener pastures.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos recently, the CEO of Nordica fertility clinic, Dr Abayomi Ajayi noted that health workers especially the young doctors leaving Nigeria for United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa need to explore opportunities that bring professional and financial reward rather than travel.

He insisted that they require leadership, entrepreneurial skills and education asides from the medical skills they have been taught.

Lamenting on the recent report of doctors migrating, he admitted that Nigeria is supplying top-rate professionals to the world at a cheaper cost, strengthening their healthcare delivery systems to the detriment of Nigeria as a nation.

“Who suffers? The ordinary Nigerian is probably unable to afford private healthcare, especially in rural areas. This brain drain in the medical/healthcare sector should be of tremendous concern to us as a people.”

He emphasized, “Doctors should be able to see beyond just seeing patients, medical business is more than just seeing patients. There are so many components to it but nowadays, everybody wanted to be a gynaecologist, surgeon and that is why hospitals are not well administered and things are not going well in the country. People need to think beyond that.”

In his advice to medical professionals, Dr Ajayi suggested, “Nobody is saying you should not leave but consider all the options. Why are people coming into Nigeria when you want to leave? There are so many things that can be done in Nigeria, which is what we want the doctors to realize. Everybody wants to travel abroad. Have you sat down to look at people who left 20 years ago, what has happened to them? They are after the pounds or dollars they will earn, but they have also forgotten there are so many bills they have to pay as well. How much are they able to save?”

To further encourage doctors and other medical professionals to desist from migrating, Dr Ajayi hinted of plans to train them in a six-month free mentorship programme from mid-October 2021 till the end of the 1st quarter of 2022.

The programme which debuted last year with 12 mentees was held virtually, “this second edition would also be more virtual than physical. In this life-transforming project, we will be deepening the scope of input in the 2nd edition, The call for entries is currently ongoing and the selection process will be rigorously demanding on prospective entrants,” he disclosed.

One of the beneficiaries of the first mentorship programme, Dr Yejide Otugbaye said the number one thing that it gave her was clarity.

“I joined the programme, when I was just about to complete my one-year internship programme, I was very confused. I didn’t know what to do. We were paired with a mentor on one-on-one mentoring sessions. The mentorship helped me in making a clear career goal such that after the mentorship, I decided not to do clinical medicine but became an advocate of sexual and gender-based violence.”

Mariam Alhassan who presently works at a health maintenance organization (HMO) on her part sees the mentorship programme as, “It’s all about waking up in 15 to 20 years’ time and be happy with yourself that you have achieved what you are set to achieve as well as make an impact in the society. Nigeria may not be what we expected that is why we are leaving, but have we taken a moment to think about the reason foreigners are trooping in? They are seeing what we are not able to see.”

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