The President, World Medical Association (WMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has said that Nigeria needed over 250,000 medical doctors to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor to patient ratio.
According to him, Nigeria has less than 100,000 registered medical doctors, describing the situation as “grossly inadequate” to meet the doctor-patient ratio.
Osahon, who made the remarks in Benin City on Friday during a public lecture organised by the Federated Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council, lamented that out of the less than 100,000 medical doctors in Nigeria, only about 50,000 are actively practicing in the country.
He said, “By international standard, a doctor should be assigned to less than 600 patients, but in Nigeria’s case, a doctor attends to over 3,000 patients. So, with this inadequacy, Nigeria needs over 250,000 doctors to cope with the current reality.
“The fact is, going by the last updated register of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, we have less than 100,000 registered doctors in the country. Let’s say about 98,000 doctors. Out of this 98,000, only 50,000 or thereabouts are actively practising in Nigeria. You may want to ask where are the remaining. Many have gone outside the country to practise due to the poor renumeration, many have left the profession.”
Enabule stressed that for Nigeria to have a good healthcare system, there must be political commitment by political leaders to meet the Abuja Declaration of dedicating 15 per cent of its annual budget to healthcare provision.