Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, has sounded the alarm regarding the brain drain of doctors in Nigeria’s healthcare sector. Mimiko expressed deep concern, stating that if the current trend continues, only traditional healers would be available to provide medical care in the country within the next five to ten years. He emphasized the urgent need for the government to address this critical issue and take immediate action.
Speaking at the induction ceremony of the inaugural batch of medical doctors at the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) in Ondo town, the former governor highlighted the troubling situation in the health sector. He lamented that doctors and other healthcare professionals, who were trained at subsidized rates in Nigeria, are abandoning the country for better opportunities abroad.
Mimiko described the current scenario as a crisis, emphasizing the alarming rate at which medical personnel are emigrating to developed countries. During his tenure, UNIMED was established to address the shortage of medical workers in the country. However, he expressed disappointment that other nations are poaching these trained professionals without contributing back to Nigeria.
The former governor stressed that the government cannot overlook this issue and must take immediate action. He suggested leveraging opportunities for professionals to acquire new skills while ensuring accountability and fair compensation from countries benefiting from Nigeria’s human resources, particularly in the health sector.
Mimiko called for discussions with relevant stakeholders, citing World Health Organization (WHO) protocols and the need for serious government intervention. He proposed that if foreign countries wish to recruit Nigerian doctors, they should provide the necessary facilities and mechanisms to expand the country’s capacity to train more medical professionals.
Highlighting Nigeria’s potential, Mimiko emphasized that the nation possesses an incredible young population with the capacity to train millions of students. However, he insisted that countries benefiting from Nigeria’s training programs must also contribute to expanding the nation’s training capabilities.
The former governor commended Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for his commitment to UNIMED, praising his decision to retain the institution in Ondo town. Mimiko further applauded Akeredolu’s merit-based appointment of Prof. Adesegun Fatusi as the Vice Chancellor of the University, despite opposition from certain quarters.
As the brain drain of medical professionals continues to pose a significant challenge, it is crucial for the government to address this issue urgently through diplomatic efforts, capacity building, and fair compensation, ensuring a win-win situation for Nigeria and its citizens.