UK grants licenses to 162 Nigerian doctors in record time
In recent years, Nigeria has faced a worrying trend of brain drain as many professionals, including doctors, leave the country for better opportunities abroad.
However, there is some good news as it has been reported that at least 162 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed to practice in the United Kingdom in the past six weeks alone.
The General Medical Council of the UK, which maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the country, confirmed this rise in Nigerian-trained doctors from 10,824 to 10,986. This means that at least three Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed per day from February 2nd to March 15th, 2023.
While Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan, the World Health Organisation has warned that brain drain could negatively impact the healthcare system and hinder progress towards achieving universal health coverage and health security.
The President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Emeka Orji, emphasized that there is a need for a review of the salary structure and that the government needs to work with medical bodies to resolve their lingering concerns. Dr. Victor Makanjuola, the President of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, stressed that Nigeria needs to produce around 12,000 doctors annually to meet the required number of physicians. This is particularly concerning as nine out of every ten medical and dental consultants with less than five years of experience plan to leave the country for greener pastures.
The brain drain issue is a pressing one for Nigeria, but this news of Nigerian-trained doctors being licensed in the UK shows that there are opportunities available for those who seek them. However, it is important for the government and medical bodies to address the concerns of medical professionals and improve the healthcare system to retain the talents of these doctors in the country.