06.04.2023 Featured Lawmakers Push for Mandatory 5-Year National Service for Doctors

Published 6th Apr, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis

“A Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical Doctors and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M379, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to mandate any Nigeria-trained medical or dental practitioner to practice in Nigeria for a minimum of five (5) years before being granted a full license by the Council in order to make quality health services available to Nigeria; and for related matters (HB.2130).”

Members of the House of Representatives have passed for second reading, a bill to restrict Nigerian-trained medical doctors and dental practitioners from obtaining complete licenses unless they have practiced in the country for at least five years.

Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, the legislator representing Oshodi Isolo II Federal Constituency of Lagos State, on Thursday, sponsored the bill.

Johnson argued that it was only reasonable for medical practitioners, after benefiting from taxpayers’ money, to give back to society by working for a set number of years before exporting their abilities overseas.

READ ALSO: ’10 of 13 Doctors Left UCH Department in One Year — No Replacement’

The bill was approved by the majority of the representatives, with some requesting flexibility.

Only Uzonma Nkem-Abonta, a lawmaker representing Abia State’s Ukwa East/Ukwa West Constituency, challenged the bill. He contended that it was enslavement to force doctors to work for five years in Nigeria before pursuing opportunities abroad.

READ ALSO: ‘I Am a Doctor, Not a Donkey’- A Nigerian Doctor’s Experience as a House Officer

This bill is being moved in light of the mass exodus of healthcare professionals from the nation abroad in pursuit of better employment possibilities.

At the Abia Physicians’ Week opening ceremony in 2022, Rowland Ojinmah, the National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, reported that 50 doctors left the country every week. Ojinmah called on the government to act quickly to reverse the disturbing situation.

Published 6th Apr, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis


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