Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

By Ene Oshaba

The House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions has assured to bring an end to the increasing brain drain in the health workforce in the country.

This follows the disclosure by the Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja Prof Sa’ad Ahmed, that over 51 health workers had earlier this year resigned their appointment from the hospital to seek better opportunities outside the country.

Responding, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health Institutions, Amos Gomina Magaji, during an oversight function to assess the level of healthcare delivery at the facility, assured that the committee will focus on improving the budgetary allocation for the health sector.

Magaji disclosed that the committee is working towards ensuring that the hospital gets another land allocation to expand its health services.On the issue of budget for health, everyone knows that the entire budget for this country is not there, and the budget for health is something to look into.

“We are doing everything to ensure that if the nation prospers, the budget for the nation will improve. We have dilapidated infrastructure everywhere; if you go to the education and power sectors, they are also complaining.”

“That is why we are on this oversight function so that we look at what we have before the budget is presented, and we can see areas of need where you truly need intervention. This hospital is dear to us, we need to pay more attention to health because health is wealth.Until you are sick, you will not know the value of health, and no matter how much you have, there are certain emergencies that, if you do not have hospitals to respond to you, you would have died before reaching the Mediterranean Sea, and we need to have our system working.One of the key areas this committee is really looking into is the reversal of medical tourism. We are not saying it should be stopped, but it should be reversed. We want to see that people are coming from Niger Republic, Ghana, and Egypt to access healthcare here.“We are going to see that medical tourism is reduced, and it cannot reduce until we deal with the issues of manpower, equipment, infrastructure, and we will see that these are achieved especially in the Federal Capital Territory.”

He also pledged that there would be intervention in the health sector to ensure affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare in the country.

Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of FMC Jabi, Prof Sa’ad Ahmed, who disclosed that about 51 healthcare workers have left the hospital since the beginning of 2023 decried the spate at which every department in the hospital has been affected by brain drain.He said:

“Currently, we are facing a manpower shortage in the Ear, Nose and Throat department. We equally have challenges in the department of neurology as we only have one consultant there, we run clinics once a week there.

“We also have the challenge in the cardiology department, and more people are coming for those services. In physiotherapy, about four or five people have left. Every department is affected.

“This year alone, about 51 staff have left the facility. It is biting, and it will continue to bite. We can talk about one-for-one replacement, but sometimes you cannot get that level of experience of the person that is leaving.”

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