The President, World Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele, has disclosed that Nigeria needs over 250,000 medical doctors to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor-to-patient ratio in the country.
Osahon said this in Benin at a public lecture organised by the Federated Chapel of the Edo Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
According to him, Nigeria has less than 100,000 doctors which is grossly inadequate to meet the doctor-patient ratio.
“Going by the international standard, a doctor should be assigned to less than 600 patient but in Nigeria case, a doctor attend to over 3,000. So Nigeria needs over 250,000 doctors to cope with the current reality.
“There is less than 100,000 registered doctors in Nigeria. Let’s say it is 98,000 doctors according to the last update. Out of this 98,000, only 50,000 are actually practising in Nigeria.”
Enabule stressed that for Nigeria to have good healthcare system there must be political commitment by the nation’s leaders to meet the Abuja declaration of dedicating 15 per cent of its budget to healthcare provision.
He decried how political leaders in the country travelled abroad to queue up before seeing less qualified doctors to check blood pressure they can conveniently do in Nigeria.
Enabulele, however, identified lack of funds, inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, poor working condition, poor remuneration, brain drain, among others as problems facing the Nigeria’s health system.
“Because of these problems, senior doctors, consultants are moving out of Nigeria in droves because of greater remuneration eslewhere,” he said.
He called for improved political commitment and improved working condition to stop medical tourism.
He called for the establishment of Health Service Commission to administer the health system, drive medical manpower, training, get the best human resource and develop better plans for the health sector,” he said.