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Nigeria needs 250,000 medical doctors to meet WHO standard

The President, World Medical Association (WMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has revealed that Nigeria needs over 250,000 medical doctors to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor-to-patient ratio.

Enabulele said the lack of funds, inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, workplace conditions, renumeration, brain drain, economy, inflation and ineffective healthcare, among others, were the problems facing Nigeria’s healthcare system.

He made the remarks in Benin City, Edo State, on Friday during a public lecture organised by the Federated Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council.

He lamented that out of the less than 100,000 medical doctors in Nigeria, only about 50,000 are actively practicing in the country.

According to him, the country has less than 100,000 registered medical doctors, a situation he described as “grossly inadequate” to meet the doctor-to-patient ratio.

“By international standard, a doctor should be assigned to less than 600 patients but in Nigeria’s case, a doctor attends to over 3,000 patients. So, with this inadequacy, Nigeria needs over 250,000 doctors to cope with the current reality.

“The fact is, going by the last updated register of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, we have less than 100,000 registered doctors in the country. Let’s say about 98,000 doctors. Out of these 98,000, only 50,000 or thereabouts are actively practising in Nigeria. You may want to ask where are the remaining. Many have gone outside the country to practise due to the poor remuneration, many have left the profession.”

He stressed that there must be a political commitment by political leaders for Nigeria to have a good healthcare system.

He further decried how political leaders in the country travel abroad to queue up before seeing less qualified medical doctors to check their blood pressure they can conveniently do in the country.

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