Since President Muhammadu Buhari‘s took office in 2015, no fewer than 6,068 medical doctors have emigrated to the United Kingdom.
The General Medical Council of the UK reported that as of August 30, 2022, there were 10,096 doctors who had received their medical training in Nigeria and had immigrated to the UK.
The data does not include Nigerian doctors who earned their medical degrees from institutions outside of the nation.
233 Nigerian doctors were found to have passed the test to work in the UK in 2015, according to the data.
In 2016, the number rose to 279, and in 2017, it reached 475.
The number increased to 852 in 2018 and then to 1,347 in 2019.
Despite the GMC ceasing operations during the COVID-19 epidemic, the number was 833 in 2020.
The estimate for 2021 was 932.
The data showed that 1,107 doctors with training in Nigeria had received licenses to practice so far in 2022.
Following India and Pakistan, Nigeria currently has the third-highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors’ publicity secretary, Alfa Yusuf, highlighted brain drain as a problem plaguing the healthcare industry in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday.
Yusuf voiced concern that it would reach a point where Nigeria will need to look abroad for medical professionals.
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.”
In a previous interview with The PUNCH, the president of the Nigerian Medical Association, Uche Ojinma, highlighted that the country’s health sector would deteriorate due to the brain drain now taking place.
Ehanire Osagie, the minister of health, said that there are enough medical professionals in Nigeria.
However, Osagie was unavailable for comment after failing to return calls or messages left at his known phone number.
The United States, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Australia are among the other well-liked locations for medical professionals with Nigerian training.