From Joe Effiong, UYO

At the rate medical doctors leave Nigeria in droves,  Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors Nigerians (NARD) has warned that there may be no medical doctor left in the country’s hospitals soon.

NARD told newsmen in Uyo that fewer than 2,000 doctors had within the last two years relocated to other countries with better facilities and conditions of service.

President of the association, Orji Emeka Innocent, said this while fielding questions from newsmen after presentation of a communique issued at the end of a conference tagged: “Improved Welfare of Healthcare Workers: A Panacea for Brain Drain (Political and Doctors’ Perspectives),” in Uyo at the weekend. 

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The association called for increased budgetary funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.

Innocent said the 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation would be in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices.

He said National Executive Council (NEC) of NARD also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to expedite action on checking brain drain by implementing the “one for one” policy on replacement of exited doctors and clinical staff. 

“The NEC welcomes the committee set up by the Federal Government to mitigate the brain drain in the health sector. The association urges a speedy conclusion of the task and immediate implementation of their recommendations to improve healthcare service delivery and reduce emigration of skilled healthcare workers from the country.