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JAPA: Federal government restricts health Workers from moving abroad

JAPA: Federal government restricts health Workers from moving abroad
F5EA85C8 AFCD 4493 B45D AEE538C2B873 REPORT AFRIQUE International JAPA: Federal government restricts health Workers from moving abroad
Japa: Federal Government Restricts Health Workers From Moving Abroad 8

The Federal Government of Nigeria has imposed new restrictions on healthcare professionals seeking opportunities abroad.

Dr. Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health, announced the implementation of these measures during a visit to the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Aro, Abeokuta.

The restriction mandates healthcare workers intending to move overseas for better opportunities to resign their positions before departing. This directive, according to Dr. Alausa, is part of President Bola Tinubu’s Executive Order aimed at countering the phenomenon of brain drain, colloquially known as the ‘Japa Syndrome,’ in the health sector.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Dr. Alausa emphasized the need to stem the tide of healthcare professionals leaving the country in search of greener pastures. He cited the significant increase in the yearly enrollment of nurses, from 28,000 to 68,000, with a projected rise to 120,000 by year-end, as evidence of the government’s commitment to bolstering the healthcare workforce.

JAPA: Federal government restricts health Workers from moving abroad
Japa: Federal Government Restricts Health Workers From Moving Abroad 9

President Tinubu, recognizing the populace as the country’s most valuable asset, has pledged to implement proactive measures to enhance the health sector for their benefit. As part of these efforts, significant recruitment drives for nurses, doctors, dentists, and pharmacists have been initiated to address the manpower shortage.

Addressing concerns about healthcare workers seeking opportunities abroad, Dr. Alausa clarified that while the government does not prohibit individuals from pursuing international appointments, they must resign from their federal government positions rather than applying for leave of absence. This measure aims to prevent healthcare professionals from practicing abroad while still retaining their positions and benefits in Nigeria.

The minister reiterated the challenges posed by healthcare workers on leave of absence who continue to draw salaries from the government while working abroad. To address this issue, President Tinubu’s Executive Order directs healthcare workers intending to work abroad to resign from their positions, ensuring fairness and transparency in the recruitment and retention processes.

Responding to calls for increased funding, infrastructural development, and welfare packages for healthcare workers, Dr. Alausa assured stakeholders of the government’s commitment to improving the fortunes of the health sector. He pledged that his ministry would spare no effort in implementing measures to enhance the working conditions and welfare of healthcare professionals across the country.

The implementation of these measures signals a proactive approach by the Federal Government to mitigate the effects of healthcare worker brain drain and strengthen the healthcare system’s resilience. By prioritizing retention strategies and bolstering recruitment efforts, the government aims to build a sustainable healthcare workforce capable of meeting the evolving needs of Nigeria’s population.

As the country continues its journey towards achieving universal healthcare coverage and improving health outcomes, initiatives aimed at retaining and empowering healthcare professionals play a crucial role in shaping the future of the nation’s healthcare landscape.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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