Prof Sa’ad Ahmed, medical director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jabi in Abuja, has stated that 51 healthcare professionals had resigned from the institution since the beginning of 2023.
Ahmed mentioned this yesterday during a visit to the hospital by the House Committee on Health Institutions for an oversight role.
He noted that brain drain has damaged every area in the hospital, noting, “currently, we are facing a manpower shortage in the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) department.”
“We equally have challenges in the department of neurology as we only have one consultant there, we run clinics once a week there. We also have the challenge in the cardiology department, and more people are coming for those services. In physiotherapy, about four or five people have left. Every department is affected.
“This year alone, about 51 staff have left the facility. It is biting, and it will continue to bite. We can talk about one-for-one replacement, but sometimes you cannot get that level of experience of the person that is leaving,” he added.
Meanwhile, the committee has vowed to reduce the outflow of Nigerians seeking medical care abroad as well as health workers travelling outside the country for greener pastures.
Chairman of the committee, Amos Magaji, noted that the committee was also working towards ensuring that the hospital gets another land allocation to expand its health service.
He said the committee will focus on improving the budgetary allocation for the health sector, saying “On the issue of budget for health, everyone knows that the entire budget for this country is not there, and the budget for health is something to look into, we are doing everything to ensure that if the nation prospers, the budget for the nation will improve.
“That is why we are on this oversight function so that we look at what we have before the budget is presented, and we can see areas of need where you truly need intervention. This hospital is dear to us; we need to pay more attention to health because health is wealth.
“Until you are sick, you will not know the value of health, and no matter how much you have, there are certain emergencies that if you do not have hospitals to respond to you, you would have died before reaching the Mediterranean Sea, and we need to have our system working.
“One of the key areas this committee is really looking into is the reversal of medical tourism. We are not saying it should be stopped, but it should be reversed. We want to see that people are coming from Niger Republic, Ghana, and Egypt to access healthcare here. We are going to see that medical tourism is reduced, and it cannot reduce until we deal with the issues of manpower, equipment, infrastructure, and we will see that these are achieved especially in the Federal Capital Territory.”
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