Governors of the 36 states of the federation have expressed worry over the preponderance of medical doctors seeking greener pastures abroad to the detriment of the country and asked the federal government to look into the issue of brain drain in the interest of the country.
The chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, gave the charge at the weekend when he paid a courtesy visit on the minister of health in Abuja.
The special adviser on media and publicity to Tambuwal, Muhammad Bello, in a statement through the NGF secretariat in Abuja, noted that the governor urged the federal government to ramp up drive for the realisation of the 25 per cent needed to ensure universal health care coverage for all Nigerians under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
He said although the governors were desirous of building a resilient health care platform committed to routine immunisation and total eradication of polio in collaboration with global and local partners, their efforts would come to naught if the alarming trend continued unchecked.
“We have been witnessing brain drain over the years. It is alarming. And I believe it has something to do with the welfare of the medical personnel. I urge the federal government to do something about this urgently. Health care remains our priority,” the governors stated.
The governors commended the federal government for setting up the BHCPF and urged that funds shouldn’t be delayed, assuring the federal government and the minister of health of transparency and accountability in the management of the fund by states.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said not less than 3,000 medical doctors graduated annually in the country, but at least 1,000 left the country every year.