Brain drain: Reps’ Bill Prescribes 5 Years Compulsory Local Practice For Doctors

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A bill seeking to curb brain drain by mandating Nigerian medical doctors to practice at least 5 years in the country before going abroad will have passed for second reading at the House of Representatives.

House Of Reps

Tilted “A bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M379, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to mandate any Nigeria-trained Medical or Dental Practitioner to Practice in Nigeria for a minimum of five before being granted a full licence by the council in order to make quality health services available to Nigeria,” was sponsored by Hon. Ganiyu Johnson.

Leading the debate at Thursday’s plenary, Johnson said the bill when passed into law will effectively checkmate the mass exodus of doctors abroad.

He said that bill will also ensure that no doctor was given a full operational licence until after 5 years.

Speaking against the bill, Hon. Nkem Abonta from Abia State said the bill was offensive.

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“I have the eyes of seeing bills that will not move on well. What this bill is asking is offensive. The Bill is asking that any Nigerian trained medical doctor must mandatory train 5 years before he can he be be given a license after qualification, you must work here compulsorily that’s not obtainable in any clime”, he said.

But in his reaction to the observation, Johnson said it was to enable the medical doctors to give back to the society that trained them.

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“Government has invested so much money in training these medical doctors, on the average. Recently United kingdom opened healthcare visa to people, they were all going to UK, USA, Canada so should we fold our hands. So to give back to our society after training you, the least we can get from you after your housemanship before you’re given full license you practice for 5 years before you can go”, he said.

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Photo Credit: Getty 

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