Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II has declared that the brain drain in Nigeria’s health sector was worrisome.
Oba Ewuare made this declaration, when the Management of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Benin City.
He said if the push and pull factors behind the menace were not urgently addressed, it could get to a freezing point whereby universal health coverage – access to quality health services – would become a mirage.
The traditional ruler who spoke in Edo Language, said, “There is something that is of great concern to us. Most medical personnel are leaving this country in droves, especially the best brains amongst you. So, how to your cope, sustain the so-called pin hole surgeries and other breakthroughs in hospitals?
“Most of the highly trained people have gone to Saudi Arabia, Dubai and other Countries abroad. I expect you to talk about the causes and how these trends can be reversed. Let us know if we can be of assistance.
“Why are our doctors after acquiring the necessary training here (Nigeria), leave? And we are watching. They (health workers) are complaining that they are not well paid and that there is poor conditions of service”, Oba Ewuare II queried.
The Benin monarch enjoined health workers to be patriotic. He, however pledged his support for the management team of UBTH, ahead of its golden jubilee Celebration.
Oba Ewuare II, prayed for the management of the hospital for wisdom in piloting the affairs and industrial harmony.
But the traditional ruler wondered why its Chief Medical Director, Prof. Darlington Obaseki who gave account of his stewardship over the past five years spoke as if everything was fine with the institution.
Continuing, the Oba queried, “You spoke as if everything is well in UBTH and like you do not need help. So, why are your people leaving?
“I understand that incessant strikes are no longer frequent. We thank God and our ancestors. We have not also recorded cases of kidnappings of health workers and staff. We thank God for them,” the he declared.