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Taraba NMA laments shortage of doctors

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The Nigerian Medical Association in Taraba State has expressed concerns about the shortage of doctors in the state and is urging the state government to address this issue to enhance healthcare delivery.

The NMA has taken proactive steps to tackle the activities of unqualified individuals in the profession by setting up a special committee.

The association is also critical of the proliferation of clinics that do not adhere to established standards.

Bako Ali, the Chairman of the NMA in the state, revealed these concerns during a press briefing on Saturday to commemorate this year’s physician’s week.

He noted that there are only 201 doctors, including both active and retired, to cater to the healthcare needs of over three million people in Taraba.

Ali emphasized that factors like kidnapping and other forms of insecurity have become significant causes of medical brain drain, and he urged the authorities to take effective actions, rather than mere rhetoric, to address this pressing issue.

Ali stated, “If Nigerian-trained doctors and dentists are poorly trained, they won’t be in high demand worldwide. Globally, around 64% of physicians work overtime regularly, and these figures are worse in Taraba State.”

“Here, only 201 doctors, both active and retired, are responsible for the care of a population of 3,609,800 as of 2022, resulting in a doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:17,959 instead of the recommended 1:600.”

He stressed the need for a fundamental change in these unfavorable conditions and called on the government and healthcare providers to confront this challenge head-on.

Ali specifically highlighted the importance of promoting specialization, improving the welfare of medical professionals, and providing adequate infrastructure to facilitate their work and reduce burnout.

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