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Japa: migration of Health experts to greener pastures is depleting our workforce – FG

migration of Health experts is depleting our workforce - FG

The federal government has assured that Nigerian health experts who return after migrating abroad will be smoothly reintegrated into the healthcare system. However, it urged medical professionals to demonstrate greater patriotism by staying in the country rather than seeking opportunities abroad.

This announcement was made during the 11th Induction and Oath-taking Ceremony of 396 foreign-trained medical laboratory science graduates by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) in Abuja. Minister of State for Health, Dr. Tunji Alausa, emphasized the critical need for health practitioners to contribute to improving the nation’s healthcare sector.

Alausa, represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr. Obi Ugbo, highlighted the severe shortage of healthcare personnel, citing recent data showing only about 300,000 health professionals serving over 200 million people. He stated that this gap puts immense pressure on the workforce, and the government, along with stakeholders like MLSCN, is working to stabilize and enhance the sector. Part of this effort includes facilitating the reintegration of returning experts.

“The migration of health professionals in search of greener pastures has significantly depleted our workforce. We are taking necessary steps to improve the situation, including ensuring returning experts are seamlessly reabsorbed,” Alausa said.

He commended the MLSCN for its ongoing collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and its dedication to maintaining high standards for medical laboratory scientists. The minister praised the council’s initiatives, including re-training programs for foreign graduates to ensure they meet local standards before practicing.

Dr. Alausa also pointed out the urgency of reforming the health sector to reduce the country’s reliance on health tourism, which costs over $2 billion annually from foreign reserves. He urged all health sector stakeholders to contribute to this effort.

Prof. Tosan Erhabor, Registrar and CEO of MLSCN, reiterated the council’s commitment to fostering excellence in medical laboratory science. He highlighted the importance of a centralized pool for the internship placement of fresh graduates to ease their transition into professional practice. Erhabor also acknowledged the sacrifices made by the parents and guardians of the inductees and encouraged the new professionals to honor their efforts by excelling in their careers.

Addressing the inductees, Prof. Erhabor underscored the importance of adhering to professional ethics and standards, warning against any conduct that could compromise the integrity of the profession. He stressed that MLSCN maintains a zero-tolerance policy for unethical behavior.

In conclusion, both the minister and Prof. Erhabor called for increased employment opportunities for young health professionals to strengthen the healthcare system. They assured continued government support for regulatory agencies like MLSCN to achieve these goals.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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