The Federal Government has put in place plans and strategies to double the population of medical and dental doctors from 5,000 to 10,000 starting from the next academic year by increasing admissions into medical and dental institutions.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, on Wednesday at the induction ceremony of foreign-trained medical and dental graduates by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, in Abuja.
Alausa said the mass exodus of licensed doctors and other health professionals to more developed countries would be discouraged by making the healthcare environment more attractive.
According to him, the just over 3,000 doctors produced annually in Nigeria remain grossly inadequate, hence, the need to double the rate of production of health workers.
“Equally, we shall expand these opportunities to all other health professionals like pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, community health extension workers, radiographers, and others. Although this will be in phases. We shall create room to produce more and excess because globally, there’s a shortage of health manpower, which has been estimated at a shortage of 18 million people,” he stated.
The minister said the ministry would continue to advocate more funding into the health sector, and increase the value chain to attract more international grants and funding.
“We are determined to promote industrial harmony in the health sector, by discouraging industrial action in the health sector that has bedevilled the system. The primary healthcare system in Nigeria will be better positioned to address the several challenges that have impeded the accessibility, quality, and effectiveness of healthcare services through a renewed drive to promote health at the grassroots.