Resident doctors decry brain drain, seek domestication of Residency Act


Resident doctors at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, have called on governments at all levels to take deliberate steps to address the plague of brain drain in the medical service delivery.

The doctors made the call at the first Annual General Meeting and Academic Conference of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), COOUTH branch in Awka, at the weekend.

The theme of the AGM and Academic Conference was “Brain Drain and the Residency Training Programme, Striking a Balance”.

Dr Nnaemeka Anunihu, the President of ARD, COOUTH, said the effect of brain drain was biting hard on the sector.

Anunihu said though the menace of brain drain was a third-world phenomena, it had assumed an unacceptable dimension in Nigeria.

He said the government should find out why practicing outside the country continued to be more attractive to doctors and other health professionals trained in Nigeria than practicing at home.

“There are a number of factors influencing the exodus of doctors, including the push and the pull factors, wages, facilities, security and value for earned wages.

“Brain drain is a serious loss to us as a country because Nigerian doctors are some of the best across the world, so why would we not want to keep them here,” he said.

Anunihu said the Residency programme at COOUTH was not without the challenge of the programme elsewhere, even though the institution was state-owned.

He called for the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act which would create an air of certainty and encourage doctors to undergo training with the confidence that their fate were protected by law

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