She was one of the most brilliant students the medical college produced that year and she had high hopes of becoming one of the best neurologists in the world. After the compulsory one-year service to the nation, she got employed at one of the state’s general hospitals.
She had five year of interrupted medical practice in Nigeria and as providence would have it, a relative invited her to Saudi-Arabia for a short visit and guess what? She never returned to Nigeria.
During her practice as a doctor in Nigeria, there was always one strike or protest by doctors against the government in which the general hospitals would be closed for weeks on end. Her plan to gain unique experiences in her field was always disrupted.
She saw a better working environment in another country and decided to take that chance to better herself in her field and the government of her host country gave her the chance to do so.
When we read in the news of the recruitment exercise conducted by the Saudi-Arabia ministry of health on the 24th of August, with hundreds of Nigerian doctors taking part in the exercise, one cannot be surprised, especially at the on-going strike action between the resident doctors and the government. There are several reasons for the desire of this group of practitioners to take the decision to leave for another country.
Chief amongst many reasons is the fact that the working conditions is mostly not conductive to career growth of some of these doctors as the lack of modern equipment and facilities are hindering them from scaling up in that profession..
In the developed countries, doctors have a more robust prospect in becoming better as they progress without the hindrances of political and social upheavals.
Doctors in Nigeria get far less than what their colleagues outside the country earn which is another major factor for their relocation. Even more, their families and relatives have better chances of enabling environment in developed country.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with relocation to another country, the manner in which trained medical personnel are doing so in Nigeria is a cause of concern. If conductive work and skill development environment is available, there would be minimal brain-drain to developed countries.
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