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Physician-patient Ratio in Nigeria Worsens as More Nigerian Doctors Move Abroad

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With no fewer than 5,405 indigenous trained Nigerian doctors and nurses currently working with the British National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and many more seeking to migrate, the physican-patient ratio in the country keeps taking a dip.

The figure, released by the British government, means Nigerian medics constitute 3.9 per cent of the 137,000 foreign staff of 202 nationalities working alongside British doctors and nurses.

The Guardian revealed that many more Nigerian doctors would join their colleagues soon because the U.K. has need for medics from Commonwealth countries, since some doctors in the European Union (E.U.) are already leaving because of Brexit.

It was also gathered that most of the Nigerian doctors and nurses are leaving for the U.K. because of better conditions of service. The migration has further worsened the physician-patient ratio in Nigeria from 1:4,000 to 1:5,000, contrary to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended 1:600. The physician-patient ratio in the U.K. is 1:300.

According to the WHO, countries with low physician-patient ratio have worse disease outcomes and life expectancy.

Figures from the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) showed that about 45,000 doctors are currently practicing in Nigeria. This means that 12 per cent of 45,000 Nigerian doctors, that is 5,405, are practising in the U.K. and the country is now left with less than 40,000, excluding those practising in the U.S., South Africa, Saudi Arabia and others.

NMA President, Dr. Mike Ogirima, described the exodus of doctors as worrisome. He blamed the situation on poor remuneration for medical doctors, poor working environment and inadequate medical equipment and infrastructure.

He said the trend has worsened the doctor-patient ratio of 1:4,000, caused longer waiting time at hospitals, rise in fatal disease outcomes, and more frequent medical errors by over worked doctors.

Ogirima said: “Nigeria is using her resources to train doctors and professionals that will leave to work in foreign countries. What are those things attracting these professionals outside? Can we duplicate them here?”

“Government should provide adequate remuneration. We are not saying we should pay so much, but pay them for the job they are doing as and when due.”

Consultant Public Health Physician, Prof. Akin Osibogun, however, said the situation could be reversed if the Federal Government makes the National Insurance Scheme (NHIS) compulsory for all citizens. According to him, this would provide enough funds to improve the conditions of service and working environment for health professionals.

He said: “The few ones we have are leaving because of poor conditions of service, working environment and after service package. It means the physician-patient ratio has worsened, maybe from 1:3,000 to 1:5,000. When you compare, those countries that have better physician-patient ratio have better treatment outcomes.”

Osibogun, a former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said Nigeria currently produces about 3,000 medical doctors every year and needs to increase the ratio by producing more, and developing plans on how to retain them.

He explained: “We need to make working conditions attractive. If they know they will have a house after 20 years of training, the lure to leave would be reduced. What are the benefits attached to the job? What are the provisions for the doctor’s family? What are the long-term prospects for the staff?

“We need to improve the work environment in terms of financing. Make it work-friendly, not crowding 10 persons in one office. Talk about electricity supply; you come to work and you are scheduled to do a surgery but there is no electricity.

“We need to be more drastic; re-organising the way we fund health service. There should be compulsory NHIS that will bring a pool of funds. We have to adopt a more holistic approach.”

But a consultant paediatric surgeon and current CMD of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, said the situation is not hopeless. He said the high migration of Nigerian doctors to the U.K. is because some doctors in E.U. countries are leaving because of Brexit and the NHS has opened its gates to doctors from Commonwealth countries.

Bode, however, said Nigeria needs proper planning to harness the opportunity the situation brings.

He said: “A medical degree is an international passport. Because of global competition, many doctors are moving to the U.S. and U.K. We lose because we trained them but we also learn from them by getting exposed to cutting-edge technologies. One day, if we harness them, they will come back to impact positively on the practice here.

“That is the method Japan, India and China used in adapting what they learnt in the U.S. and U.K. It is not a total loss. We are seeing a lot of movement of medical doctors abroad. It is not as if Nigerian medicine is dead. I had to spend a lot, $14,000, some years back on going to Israel to learn new skills. That has distinguished me and Nigerians are benefitting.

“Nigerian doctors are going to the U.K. because they have opened their gates. By the time the medical doctors come back, we will be better for it. It is not a hopeless situation. There is a lot we can do to harness the opportunity. We need proper planning.”

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WHEN JENIFER IS BEING TESTED BY NIGERIANS

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Jenifa-s-Diary-7-Episode-11-CAUGHT-IN-THE-ACT-NaijaGreen.com_.Ng_.mp4 (1 download) TRYING


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Emmanuel Ekon’s brother, Charles buried [PHOTOS]

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Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Representatives of Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar (Waziri of Adamawa), President/CEO of Dangote Group – Aliko Dangote, NNPC GMD, Mr. Maikanti Baru, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director of NNDC, His Excellency Nsima Ekere, members of the National Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon, Hon. Emmanuel Akpan, Hon. Chukwudi Jones Onyereri, Hon. Owoidoho Ekpoattai; PDP State Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, Member Representing Etim Ekpo /Ika State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Toby, Hon. Eseme Eyibo, Former Commissioner for Works, Hon. Don Etim, Former Commissioner for Information, Hon. Elder Aniekan Umanah, party stalwarts and top echelons from Total, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Ship and the entire oil and gas industry were among the sympathizers at the funeral mass in honour of Mr. Charles Ekon, the elder brother of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, Member Representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency held on Thursday 15th February 2018 at St. Joseph’s Parish, Iwukem – Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.

See Photos Below:

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IPC Reveals Reasons for Recent Power Outage in Akwa Ibom

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Ibom Power Company (IPC) has revealed reasons for the break in power supply in the last few days in Akwa Ibom State.

According to the power generation company, Akwa Ibom State is experiencing distribution and transmission problems.

Head of Plant Operations Aniebiet Umoh, said: “Ibom Power Unit 3 has been producing an average of 112 mw every day, there is no reason Akwa Ibom State should be without power supply at any time, if the distribution systems are on.

“Feeder Details in Akwa Ibom State estimate the total capacity of the three major Injection substations responsible for distribution of electricity at 159mw – Eket (56mw), Uyo (64mw) and Itu (39mw).

“Recently, the 132kV transmission line from Itu, in Akwa Ibom State to Aba, in Abia State snapped which disconnected the State from the national grid. Ibom power Management pre-empted this occurrence when they installed a Dead bus technology which allows Ibom plant to operate on island mode giving power to Akwa Ibom state independent of the national grid.”

He explained that on island mode, over 100mw produced by Ibom power plant can be utilised in Akwa Ibom as long as Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) picks the minimum 10mw load requirement for the plant to remain on the mode.

“When the minimum load was not picked we had to shut down the plant until the line from Itu was reconnected,” Umoh said.

The Head, PHEDC Integrated Business Centre which covers Eket region, Akanimoh Ekpe, said as a  safety precaution, PHEDC turned-off its system in the region when the Itu – Aba line snapped. He said after taking the necessary precautions when PHEDC was ready to turn on their system, Ibom power was already shut down.

He said PHEDC was working with Ibom Power and Akwa Ibom State government on distribution network system improvement through the “Power for all” initiative, which includes metering all customers in Akwa Ibom. He added that implementation of the power for all initiative will enhance sustainability of steady power supply across the State.

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Bus crash claims 22 secondary school students

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At least 22 secondary school students died on Tuesday in a road accident in Gaya local government area of Kano state, Premium Times reports.

The Kano command of the Nigeria police confirmed the accident, saying its operatives were at the scene trying to “calm the situation”.

The accident, which occurred at about 11.00 a.m., involved a truck and a bus conveying the students from Misau local government, Bauchi.

The students were going on an excursion at a radio station.

A witness, Tella Maiunguwa, said the bus collided with the truck as both were trying to avoid a pothole at Samia Uku village.

Mr. Maiunguwa said the accident occurred close to Maitama Sule College by Dudduru.

Musa Majiya, the police spokesman said the police was ”taking care of the situation.”

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