Federal Government Imposes Stricter Measures to Curb Health Worker Brain Drain

The Federal Government has taken decisive steps to address the issue of health worker brain drain, directing that health workers seeking opportunities abroad must resign from their positions before embarking on such journeys. Dr. Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health, announced this directive during his visit to the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to Alausa, the era of health workers leaving for greener pastures without formally resigning is no longer acceptable. This directive, stemming from an executive order issued by President Bola Tinubu, aims to combat the ‘Japa Syndrome’ that has plagued the nation’s health sector.

To address the manpower shortage, the Federal Government has initiated measures to increase the production of skilled healthcare professionals. The annual enrollment of nurses has significantly increased, from 28,000 to 68,000, with plans to reach 120,000 by the year’s end. Similar efforts are underway for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

Alausa emphasized that while health workers are free to pursue opportunities abroad, they must formally resign from their positions to avoid burdening colleagues and impeding replacement efforts. This directive aims to ensure that the health sector remains adequately staffed and capable of delivering quality care to citizens.

In response to demands for increased funding, infrastructure development, and welfare packages from the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Alausa assured that the Ministry of Health is committed to addressing these concerns to improve the overall fortunes of the health sector in Nigeria.

Dr. Paul Agboola, the Provost and Chief Medical Director of the hospital, commended the Minister for his dedication and support, noting the positive impact of recent initiatives on the hospital’s development, including the long-awaited Institute of Psychiatric project.

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