The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has warned that the already poor national health indicators may eventually spiral out of control, leaving Nigeria at the bottom rung among the comity of nations, unless severe measures are used by governments to arrest the tide of brain drain.
The association has also instructed its Abia state chapter to give the Abia state government a three-week ultimatum, adding that if unresolved concerns are still present at the conclusion of the ultimatum, the NMA in the state should go on an indefinite strike.
While applauding the government’s efforts at all levels and the healthcare industry’s valiant efforts to combat monkey pox and other re-emerging diseases, the NMA urged the government to implement more stringent and ongoing surveillance systems as well as stringent international health travel regulations to prevent the importation of infectious diseases.
The NMA expressed dissatisfaction over governments’ failure to address the “Push” factors driving brain drain, which it claimed had resulted in the mass exodus of doctors and other health workers in search of better opportunities in a communiqué released at the conclusion of its National Executive Council (NEC).
The NEC reaffirmed that, “the existing poor National Health indices may soon spiral out of control, consequently leaving Nigeria at the bottom rung among the comity of nations,” unless “draconian measures were employed by governments to stop the tide of brain drain.”
The NMA called on the government to “implement more stringent and ongoing surveillance systems, strict international health travel measures; improve international co-operation and data sharing, rebuild public health infrastructure to prevent and control vector-borne and zoonotic diseases; institute multidisciplinary collaboration using, “One Health” approach for prompt diagnosis and treatment; conduct primary as well as translational research in management of infectious diseases.”
The association gave its branch in Abia state the mandate to use all legal measures at its disposal to protect the rights and privileges of all doctors in Abia state, especially those who work for the state government.
The NMA has encouraged the governments of the states of Ekiti, Ondo, and Imo to expedite the process of resolving the outstanding pay and wages of physicians and other health professionals.
Additionally, it was decided to keep up the engagement and use all legal means possible to ensure that the newly approved Hazard Allowance would be paid out within the following two months.