ABUJA — The House of Representatives has called for the recruitment of medical personnel to replace doctors and other health workers, who have quit Federal Government jobs and left Nigeria for better offers in other countries.
The call is coming at a period of a mass exodus of workers in the country’s health system, especially doctors and nurses.
At the plenary on Thursday, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Director-General of the Budget Office, and the Ministry of Health to “urgently grant financial cover as well as a waiver on incidental costs of replacement of resigned and retrenched health workers to the federal medical colleges, federal hospitals as well as teaching hospitals and centers.”
The House also mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to engage in a periodic and systematic review of the execution of the much-needed reforms.
The resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Uju Kingsley, titled, ‘Need for the Replacement of Health Workers who have Migrated to other Countries in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic’.
Kingsley said, “The House notes the massive exodus of indigenous health workers to other countries in search of greener pastures, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.
“The mass departure and widespread apathy of health workers are mostly predicated on the sub-par remuneration structure offered to them despite being exposed to great risks.
“The House is concerned that the number of COVID-19 cases may become too overwhelming for the current number of medical personnel, thus exposing the country to even greater risk of the spread of the virus.
“The House is cognizant that a radical approach needs to be taken to fill the gap in the health sector through massive recruitment and replacement of health workers as well as an upgrade in the remuneration of workers in the health sector. An effective stakeholders’ engagement of the relevant ministries, departments, and agencies will serve as a catalyst to effecting the reforms.”