Japa Syndrome: Reps Consider Bill Seeking 5-year Mandatory Practice For Nigerian-Trained Doctors

A bill seeking to mandate Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to practice for a minimum of five years in the country before being granted a full licence has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Ganiyu Johnson, an All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Lagos, the bill seeks to amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act 2004, to address the brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.

If passed into law, medical and dental practitioners trained in the country will have to practice for at least five years before they are granted a full licence.

There have been concerns in recent times over the relocation of many healthcare workers in Nigeria to foreign countries — a development that has retrograded the state of the country’s health sector.

In August 2022, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said a total collapse of the health sector is imminent if urgent steps are not taken to address the brain drain in the sector.

The association called for an emergency solution to the issue in the health sector, adding that with the trend of medical doctors leaving the country, there may be a need to hire doctors from foreign countries in the future.

Leading the debate on the bill during plenary, on Thursday, Johnson said the bill aims to “make quality health services available to Nigerians”.

Johnson said it was only fair for medical doctors, who enjoyed taxpayer subsidies on their training, to give back to the society.

He said by working for a minimum number of years before leaving Nigeria to practice abroad, the country would have benefited from their skills.

-The Cable

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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