Stakeholders task incoming govt on brain drain in health sector
Convener, Health Sector Transformation Coalition (HTC), Dr. Jide Idris, and other critical stakeholders in the heath sector have urged the Federal Government to take decisive steps to curb brain drain in the country’s health sector.
The former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State said the issue, as a matter of necessity, must be placed on the front burner as a new political dispensation beckons.
Speaking at a symposium in Lagos with the theme, ‘The imperatives of addressing brain drain in Nigerian Health Sector’, Idris said the coalition was inspired to fill a gap in the polity by bringing together seasoned and up-and-coming practitioners across various segments of the health sector to address mass exodus of Nigerian heath workers in search of greener pasture abroad.
Idris, who disclosed that the coalition consists of various disciplines and cadres of healthcare professionals in the public and private sectors from across the country and the Diaspora, stressed the urgent need to reposition Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system and reverse the tide of brain drain in the sector by putting health on the political agenda of the incoming government.
He said: “With the aim of ensuring that the healthcare system in Nigeria is repositioned for efficiency and sustainability by proactively contributing to the development of health polices and implementation strategies of the new administration, the coalition provides a fertile ground for generating and nurturing ideas from a bottom-up approach.”
Another session of the symposium entitled, ‘Why young health professions want to japa meaning (to relocate abroad) with their family’ addressed the reasons the japa phenomenon has recently become rampant from the perspective of the students and younger professionals.
The second session, with the topic ‘Brain Gain: Thriving in the Nigerian Healthcare Space, Exploring the untapped Potential’, saw various professionals in the health sector, who had once left the country but returned, shared their experiences and opened the eyes of the younger ones to the untapped opportunities in the sector.
The health professionals said the coming political actors must be ready to reposition the health sector to curb brain drain.
They also agreed that given the importance of efficient healthcare delivery system to national development, voters in the coming elections should give adequate consideration to the track records of candidates, who have impacted the sector during their tenures in office.