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Japa: Reps lament doctors shortage as LUTH shuts wards


The House of Representatives Committee on Health on Tuesday expressed alarm over the diminishing health workforce in Nigeria, particularly the relocation of doctors and nurses abroad.

This concern was raised as the Lagos University Teaching Hospital closed down five wards, amounting to 150 beds, due to a shortage of medical personnel.

Dr. Amos Magaji, the Chairman of the committee, expressed worry over the situation, emphasizing the need to address the increasing trend of Nigerians seeking medical treatment abroad.

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He highlighted the impact of the “japa syndrome” on the nation’s health system and outlined plans to curtail it.

During an oversight visit to LUTH in Idi-Araba, Dr. Magaji stated, “Nigeria as a nation has found itself in a precarious moment, especially in the healthcare system where ‘japa’ has taken centre stage. We used to have ‘japa’ only for nurses and doctors, but now it has even gone to many departments in the health sector.”

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He revealed that five wards at LUTH had been closed due to the lack of nurses and doctors, directly attributing it to the “japa” phenomenon.

Dr. Magaji pledged the committee’s commitment to collaborate with the Federal Government and LUTH to find solutions to the challenges facing the country’s health sector.

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Dr. Magaji outlined the committee’s approach, stating, “So, by the grace of God, some of the issues of the ‘japa,’ we are actually looking at how to solve this problem, starting even from the enrollment in universities, and then how house officers are employed, and then of course, the residency programme.”