The House of Representatives Committee on Health on Tuesday raised concerns over the relocation of Nigerian doctors and nurses abroad which has caused a decline in the country’s health manpower.
The committee disclosed that due to such rush abroad, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for instance has five wards comprising 150 beds which have been shut down over shortage of personnel.
LUTH is Nigeria’s premier health training institution.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr Amos Magaji, described the situation as worrisome saying the legislative arm is working toward nipping the increasing rate of Nigerians going abroad for medical tourism in the bud.
He said the Nigeria health workers migration overseas has taken a huge toll on the country’s heath system affirming that “the “japa” syndrome will be curtailed by building state-of-the-art infrastructure and making the sector attractive and rewarding to workers irrespective of their fields.”
Speaking during an oversight visit to LUTH, Idi-Araba, the health committee chairman reiterated that “Nigeria as a nation has found itself in a precarious moment, especially in the healthcare system where “japa” has taken centre stage. We used to have “japa” only for nurses, and doctors, but now it has even gone to many departments in the health sector.
“We saw significant problems here. Right now, there are about five wards in LUTH, totalling about 150 beds that have been shut down because there are no nurses and doctors to work in those wards. And these are a result of the ‘japa’ syndrome we are having.
“As a committee, we will work together with the Federal Government and also with the teaching hospital to find a way out of these national embarrassments that have befallen this country.