LASG, HFN Urge FG to Create Policies for Diaspora Doctors

Rebecca Ejifoma

The President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Dr Pamela Ajayi has urged the Federal Government to implement policies that will create an enabling environment for Nigerian doctors in the diaspora to return home and help revamp the healthcare system. 

She made this call at the Doctors For Change (DFC) convention which was held in Lagos recently, where she highlighted brain drain among other challenges facing the health sector.

The HFN president further recommended that the government puts policies in place to harness the potential and capability highly skilled and experienced medical personnel in the diaspora can bring to Nigeria beyond the huge amount of foreign exchange in diaspora remittances coming from health workers abroad. 

“It is absolutely critical that the government signs off on the national policy incentivising the health industry as soon as possible, thereby creating an enabling environment for the skills and talents of doctors and other healthcare personnel in the diaspora returning home and also encourage direct foreign Investments (DFI) in the sector”, she suggested.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi also outlined that the problems in the healthcare sector can only be tackled effectively through government collaboration with the private sector.

He expressed delight in the potential that the DFC convention portends for the sector. 

Abayomi promised that the government would continue to work on setting up necessary policies and infrastructure that would enhance effective collaboration with organised groups such as DFC. “Healthcare occupies a very important place on their agenda.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Dr Aderemi Desalu noted that the diaspora doctors can provide the same high standard and quality healthcare that cost Nigeria so much yearly. 

He believes that the astronomical cost of medical tourism can be reduced drastically by engaging them. 

Desalu applauded the DFC convention for taking the initiative while expressing hope for positive outcomes.

Exhibiting and represented at the event were some of the diaspora hospitals with specialist healthcare services including the Duchess International Hospital, the Bridge Clinic, Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre, Brain and Spine Surgery Ltd, Pneumacare, and First Cardiology Consultants.

Others at the event included the President of the Nigerian Physicians Advocacy Group, Dr Iyore James; the President of the Guild of Medical Directors, Dr Abiodun Kuti; the President Association of Nigeria Private Medical practitioners, Dr Kay Adesola and the President Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, Dr Chinyere Anyaogu.

CAPTION: Dr Pamela Ajayi, President of Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN); Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State; Dr Toyin Ajayi, Medical Director of The Bridge Clinic; and Dr Iyore James, President of Nigerian Physicians Advocacy Group at the Doctors For Change (DFC) Convention in Lagos

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