Like many other sectors in the country, the healthcare sector complains of poor leadership and lack of support from the government including low remunerations and poor facilities.
As a result, the country saw its doctors going on strike as well as looking elsewhere to practise and work happily.
In a recent job interview where the Saudi health ministry is in need of health workers in Saudi Arabia, over 500 Nigerian doctors appeared . The recruitment exercise was conducted by a local agency in place of the Saudi health ministry.
This Thursday, the interview will continue in Abuja while others will subsequently take place in Lagos and other parts of the country.
When asked why they are seeking to work abroad leaving sick people behind, the Nigerian doctors responded anonymously:
One gynaecologist said:
“We cannot really survive where Mr President goes out of the country for medical treatment, while for the past ten months now, most of us have not been paid, and those who are paid are paid half salaries.
“I need to take care of my family. Why is the government not taking care of the health sector?
After going through rigorous training for six years, it is not worth it to come out struggling to feed your family.
I have been working 48 hours at a stretch with nothing to show.”
A paediatrician also responded saying:
“There are more than 500 specialist doctors here wanting to leave the country and they are coming from various teaching hospitals, federal medical centers and specialists hospitals.
“So Saudi Arabia wants the best for her people, the officials come here, collect the best from Nigeria, and put them in their hospitals for their people to benefit from our expertise.”
When asked about how the government could make things better, he added?
“The advice is very straightforward. Let the health system work, remunerate doctors properly, provide the required tools for them to work with, and this trend of brain drain will stop.
“Home is home, nobody will want to leave if the working condition is good. Here we are frustrated in our workplaces, and sometimes contribute money to buy drugs for patients. The government knows what to do. Once they do the right thing, the trend will stop.”
By Elijah Christopher