The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said that the country might lose more than 50 percent skilled healthcare workforce by 2025 as a result of the migration of health workers, especially doctors and nurses.
The hint was given by the chairman of the Ogun State branch, Dr. Azim Ashimi, on Tuesday, in a New Year message made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Ashimi said the migration of health workers had given rise to worsening healthcare indices, as well as wanton loss of lives.
While expressing worries over the attitude of both the federal and state governments on the development, Dr. Ashimi said: “The last few years have been particularly challenging for the health sector in Nigeria, given the unabating exodus of healthcare workers, especially doctors and nurses in search of greener pastures.
“This has given rise to worsening healthcare indices as well as wanton loss of lives. Unfortunately, governments across all levels in Nigeria seem to be trivialising this issue as no visible concrete effort is being made to retain these critical workforces.
“Rather, triggers for such exodus continue to surge daily. These include rising inflation and insecurity.
“We are definitely heading for the rocks in the health sector as the projections are not looking anything good.
“It is likely that by the end of 2025, Nigeria may lose more than 50 percent of its skilled healthcare workforce and it will be foolhardy to think that we will have the younger and less skilled professionals to hold forth because they also constitute a major percentage of those not willing to stay.”
He, therefore, called on governments to pay critical attention to the health sector before it collapses completely.
The medical doctor appreciated the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for allocating more funds to the health sector in the 2024 budget, as well as his efforts in repositioning the sector.
Ashimi, however, said doctors in the service of the state are tired and overworked and sometimes depressed.
“We, however, want everyone to know that doctors in Ogun State are tired and overworked and sometimes depressed.
“We will, however, continue to put in our best to the limits of our human capacities as we implore the Ogun State and federal governments to do the needful by employing the appropriate number of doctors to man the various healthcare facilities that the governments have over the years been building, renovating or upgrading,” he added.