Following poor remuneration and working condition coupled with government’s lack of priority attention to the health sector, a new survey conducted by NOIPolls in partnership with the Nigeria Health Watch, has revealed that eight in 10 Nigerian doctors are seeking employment abroad where their services would be better appreciated and rewarded.
Obviously,, the situation has assumed a worrisome dimension as the survey report titled: “Emigration of Nigerian Medical Doctors” clearly revealed that majority of the respondents (88 percent ) who are resident in the country disclosed that they are considering work opportunities abroad.
According to the survey which involved 705 doctors at home and abroad, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are the top two prevalent destinations Nigerian medical doctors seek work opportunities in, with 93% and 86% of the population disclosing this respectively.
The reasons for their leaving the country were because these countries of their destination appreciate their doctors by providing them with better facilities and work environment, higher remuneration, better welfare packages and benefits, career progression and professional advancement, among others.
Other countries that Nigerian doctors are rushing to for greener pastures as revealed by the survey include: Canada (60%), Saudi Arabia (59%), Australia (52%), Dubai (29%), The Caribbean Island (17%), Ireland (15%), South Africa (4%), Qatar (1%), and Botswana (1%).
The survey also found out that some of the challenges that are fueling the increase in number of Nigerian doctors seeking greener pastures abroad were high taxes and deductions from salary(98 percent), low work satisfaction(92 per cent), poor salaries and emoluments(91 percent), huge knowledge gap(47) percent, poor quality of practice (8 per cent) and so on.
The online and in-dept interview survey was targeted at Nigerian medical doctors, and it involved a mixed methodology approach employing quantitative and qualitative methods.
To stem the tide of doctors emigrating from Nigeria, the survey recommended 25 percent better salaries for the doctors,24 percent more funding in health sector, provide 9 percent career development plan, 7 percent adequate facilities, employ more doctors and also provide health insurance for the general masses.
Consequently, the findings are critical to the ability of the health system to retain adequate skilled personnel to cope with Nigeria’s growing population.