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Consultant: Anaesthetics leaving Nigeria in drove

Dr Isreal Kolawole, a Consultant Anaesthetic and Palliative Care Clinician, says anaesthetics are leaving Nigeria in drove, calling on the Federal Government to save the medical sector from brain drain.

Dr Isreal Kolawole, a Consultant Anaesthetic and Palliative Care Clinician, says anaesthetics are leaving Nigeria in drove, calling on the Federal Government to save the medical sector from brain drain.

Kolawole, a Consultant at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, made the call in an interview with newsmen, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, manpower meant for patients’ care in Nigeria, including those trained for the system, was leaving for greener pastures abroad.

“Almost every week, an anaesthetic goes to Saudi Arabia, they go to America, UK and Canada, many are still waiting in the wing to leave, but you cannot blame them.

“They are looking for job satisfaction, Federal Government needs to make facilities available in our hospitals for health workers to practice what they know.

“They leave for many reasons, money is part of it, but job satisfaction is the ultimate thing,’’ Kolawole said.

He further listed some of the reasons as poor work satisfaction, poor pay, lack of medical equipment and state of insecurity in the country, amongst others.

According to the consultant however, it is not only Anaesthetics that are leaving in search of greener pastures abroad, but health practitioners in general.

“The effect is already showing, but may get worse when there are no human resources to take care of patients.

“Nurses, Doctors, Radiotherapies and other health practitioners are all leaving. They are going not in one or two numbers, but in drove.

“If I tell you how many of my colleagues who are specialist anaesthesics that have left in the last three months, you will be surprised.

“Anaesthetics are in high demand everywhere and most countries do not have enough of them, but have all it takes to attract them to other countries that do not value them.

“So, It is as if we are training them for other countries,’’ he said.

Commenting on other medical fields, Kolawole advised Nigeria to improve on its handling of cancer cases because of inadequate human resources, equipment and facilities.

“Nigeria is not where it should be in the management of cancer cases because of many challenges which borders on funding and human resources.

“With over 200 million people, and by the World Health Organisation (WHO), standard, we are supposed to have about 200 radiotherapy centres, but we have less than 10, and you can hardly see five working at a time.

“Both human resources and equipment are not enough in the medical sector, they are inadequate,’’ he emphasised.

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