The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said Nigeria would liaise with doctors acquiring more skills and cutting-edge technology abroad to tackle the dearth of skilled medical personnel in the country.
He made this known at the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria 2023 Annual Conference and General Meeting from February 3rd to 4th in Lagos on the theme, “Building the Healthcare of Our Future”.
Ehanire said: “Brain drain bothers all citizens and there are many things Nigeria is going to do. First is to improve the condition of services as much as possible.”
The minister outlined plans to try to utilise those who have left, “The country to go abroad to acquire more skills and more cutting-edge technology to also be able to relate with Nigeria”.
With key health stakeholders including those delivering services, procuring medical equipment and also manufacturing, Ehanire commended HFN, describing the conference as a good opportunity to meet with stakeholders and bring them to par on what the government is doing.
Speaking on the need for the conference, the President of HFN, Dr Pamela Ajayi said they decided to focus on creating solutions to the main problems facing the nation’s healthcare sector.
She outlined the discourse which highlighted fiscal policies and its issues, training and retraining of personnel, brain drain and way out, healthcare financing and investments, and investing in people.
Other issues addressed included health insurance and the new National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) act, the human resources crisis, solutions that work for Nigeria, solutions from people in the diaspora, and utilising technology.
Ajayi admitted: “It is difficult to stop people from leaving, but how can we get more people to return? If they cannot return physically, can we get their brain power back here?
The president also suggested another area, which is leveraging technology systems and structures. Adding to it that, “We have a lot on our table but this is just the beginning. It is a building block. We are trying to build the healthcare we want to see in our future”.
With the election gathering momentum, the HFN president assured newsmen that the organisation is here to work with whichever government comes into power.
She added: “We will be happy to work with them in transition and throughout that is what we are here for and we know that the private sector has a lot to offer.
“We want to urge whichever government comes in to recognise the private sector and work with them to build the healthcare system that all Nigerians will be proud of.”