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Nigeria has currently close to 50,000 qualified medical laboratory scientists.

Brain Drain: Nigeria lost 16,000 Doctors in Five Years – Pate

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Ali Pate, has revealed that Nigeria lost approximately 15,000 to 16,000 doctors to brain drain in the past five years.

Pate revealed this on Sunday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, even as he lamented the migration of health personnel in search of better standard of living and higher salaries that has affected Nigeria’s health sector.

According to the minister, this brain drain, popularly known as ‘japa,’ has significantly impacted the country’s health sector as it has deprived Nigeria of its most skilled professionals.

Pate said that Nigeria, at the moment, has as many as 300,000 health professionals across various cadres.

The minister added that the list includes doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and lab scientists.

“However, only 55,000 of them are doctors, with many working abroad, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom,” said the minister.

“The loss of trained doctors exacerbates existing healthcare delivery issues and underscores the need for comprehensive solutions to address workforce distribution and retention.

Pate said Nigerian doctors, nurses and health officers working abroad are ready to return to the country on one condition, which is that the enabling infrastructure is provided.