No fewer than 6,068 doctors have moved to the UK since the regime of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret.), began in 2015. The PUNCH reports.
According to data obtained from the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, the total number of Nigerian-trained doctors who migrated to the UK on August 30, 2022 was 10,096.
Nigerian doctors who have obtained medical qualifications in schools outside the country are not included in the data.
The data showed that 233 Nigerian doctors passed the exam in 2015 to practice in the UK.
The number rose to 279 in 2016, up from 475 in 2017.
In 2018, the figure rose to 852, while in 2019 it rose further to 1,347.
In 2020, the figure was 833, despite the fact that the GMC has closed its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figure for 2021 was set at 932.
So far in 2022, the data showed that 1,107 Nigerian-trained doctors are licensed to practice.
Currently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
In an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, the Nigerian Association of General Practitioners’ Publicity Secretary, Alfa Yusuf, described brain drain as a threat to the health sector.
Yusuf expressed fears it could reach a stage where Nigeria will have to look for doctors in the country.
He said: “The only way to solve this is for the government to come up with a policy to tackle the brain drain: a good reward, a risk compensation paid when and when it is due and the introduction of tax relief, especially for health professionals.
“They should also provide packages that lure our doctors to other countries. They need to look at packages that will ensure that our doctors stay in the country and not go elsewhere.”
The president of the Nigeria Medical Association, Uche Ojinma, had noted in an earlier interview with The PUNCH that the brain drain seen in the country would worsen the health sector.
Health Minister Ehanire Osagie had claimed that Nigeria has enough doctors.
However, Osagie could not be reached for comment, as phone calls and messages sent to him through his known phone number went unanswered.
Other popular destinations for Nigerian-trained doctors include the United States, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.