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We have surplus doctors in Nigeria, those who want to leave can leave – Chris Ngige

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, in an interview with Channels TV today said that doctors who feel they want to relocate in search of greener pastures are free to do so as Nigeria already has enough medical personnel.

The Minister said this in response to a question on brain drain and the deliberate recruitment of Nigerian doctors by foreign embassies in Nigeria to the detriment of the nation’s health sector.

According to the Minister, he is not in anyway worried by the braindrain

No, I am not worried about doctors leaving the country. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days. There are surplus in their country and we also have surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. In my area, we have excess.

“Who said we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.”

When asked if the brain drain was not hurting the health sector, he said

Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.” 

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