The Joint Health Sector Unions has urged the Federal Government to implement the one-for-one replacement policy to address the impact of the unending brain drain in the health sector.
The one-for-one replacement policy is to ensure that when a healthcare worker leaves the country or exits the system, they will be replaced immediately.
JOHESU is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations, including the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, and Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.
In an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, the acting National Chairman of JOHESU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, said the policy should be implemented immediately to lessen the impact of inadequate manpower in health institutions.
He noted that the policy might not totally solve the brain drain in the sector, but it would significantly ameliorate the current deteriorating situation.
He stated, “Apart from those exiting as a result of brain drain, we have those retiring at 60, and there is no commensurate employment to replace them; creating a large gap. Many health workers and professionals are overworked, due to acute staff shortages in critical service areas. It is really a challenging situation.”
As a way out, Dr. Obinna urged the government to create an enabling working environment for health workers.
He added, “They should also meet workers’ welfare needs and lift the ban on unemployment of health workers. There should be copious recruitment of healthcare professionals, replacement of obsolete medical equipment in health institutions, and proper funding of the health sector by at least 15% of the nation’s budget as recommended by the African Union Declaration of 2001 and the World Health Organisation.”