Founder of Healthcare Magazine and former Commissioner for Health in Kwara State, Dr Bola Olaosebikan, OON, has raised the alarm that the health sector may be headed towards emergency unless something is done to remedied the situation.
Olaosebikan in an electronic mail sent to Newsnowonline.com.ng on Wednesday bemoaned the effect of japa syndrome and the acute poverty in Nigeria.
He said; “The current economic situation and the Japa Syndrome is beginning to affect healthcare in the country seriously, as a result of the massive exodus of medical workforce, that has led to shortages of doctors, nurses, consultants, lecturers etc.
“Highly needed manpower who are daily migrating abroad and complicated by poverty and poor earning power of the populace.The nation has lost over 5,000 doctors to brain drain in the last five years according to data from Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria.”
Continuing, Olaosebikan maintained that “Nigeria doctors are migrating to U.K, USA, United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Africa and other countries.
“As a result of this loss of essential health manpower, Ngeria is now grossly short of doctors and is critically so far below _doctor to patient_ _ratio_ recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) of at least 1 doctor to 600 people. Currently in Nigeria, the ratio is 1doctor to 5,000 people.
“Significantly number of Nigerians are therefore lacking access and coverages to health care services, including women, children and the vulnerable groups.
“Health and Pharmaceutical Industries are closing down. Hospitals, Clinics, Laboratories and Wards are shutting down, leading to severe reduction in availabilities and accessibilities of Nigerians to modern healthcare delivery, with severe consequences on population health, national health security, national morbidities and higher rates of mortalities. ???? There is urgent need to save health in Nigeria from National emergency.”