Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has expressed its resolve to deal with the problem of brain drain afflicting the country’s medical profession and to translate it to brain gain.
The body has flagged off its second National Health Summit in Abuja where it has articulated measures that would reverse the low points in our healthcare delivery system.
Addressing a press conference to herald the commencement of the four-day health summit, the President of NMA, Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile said among the issues to be taken up were improving the Nigerian health indices, inter-professional relationship in the health sector, brain drain and brain gain.
Others are to seek ways to enhance the universal health coverage and to reverse medical tourism.
He said that this year’s summit will be pushing a new narrative to focus attention on a patient-centred care.
“We are looking at how we can reverse this probably bad situation to profit Nigerians. That is when we begin to make it a brain gain.”
He explained that the main thrust of the drive was to get those Nigerians who have travelled out to acquire special skills to come back and transfer these knowledge and skills to their compatriots at home.
Apart from playing host to doctors from the commonwealth countries, the second NMA Health Summit is expected to have delegates from 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) attending.
Regarding the suspension placed on the ministry of health preventing it from carrying out direct procurement, the NMA urged government to lift it to enable the ministry perform the numerous tasks before it.
“NMA is not happy with the situation of things, we believe that if the ministry has done something wrong they need to be corrected. Persistently asking the ministry of agriculture to oversee the procurement in the ministry is not something that makes work go efficiently and effectively,” he said.