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Nigeria lost 6,068 doctors to UK under Buhari – Report


No fewer than 6,068 medical doctors have relocated from Nigeria to the United Kingdom since the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), started in 2015.

According to The PUNCH, information from the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom revealed that, as of August 30, 2022, 10,096 doctors who had been trained in Nigeria had moved to the UK.

Nigerian doctors who got medical qualifications in schools outside the country are not included in the data.

The data revealed that 233 Nigerian doctors passed the examination to practise in the UK in 2015.

The number increased to 279 in 2016, while the figure was 475 in 2017.

In 2018, the figure rose to 852 while it further increased to 1,347 in 2019.

In 2020, the figure was 833 despite the fact that the GMC closed operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure for 2021 was put at 932.

So far in 2022, the data revealed that 1,107 Nigerian-trained doctors have been licensed to practise.

Presently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.

In an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Alfa Yusuf, described brain drain as a menace bedevilling the health sector.

Yusuf expressed fear that it may get to a stage where Nigeria will have to be scouting for doctors in the country.

He said, “The only way to solve this is for the government to come up with a policy to address brain drain: good remuneration, hazard allowance paid as and when due and introduction of tax rebate, especially to health care workers.

“They should also give packages that entice our doctors to other countries. They should look at packages that will make our doctors stay in the country and not go elsewhere.”

The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Uche Ojinma, had, in an earlier interview with The PUNCH, noted that the brain drain being witnessed in the country would worsen the health sector.

The Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie, had claimed that Nigeria has enough doctors.

Osagie, however, could not be reached for comments as calls and messages sent to him via his known telephone number were unanswered.

Other popular destinations for Nigeria-trained doctors include the United States, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Australia.