A large number of doctors are set to exit Nigeria once the ban on international flights is lifted this week.
This is just Media observations from data provided by the United Kingdom’s Medical Council that the number of Nigerian doctors migrating to the UK increased by almost 100 between July and August despite the restriction on international flights.
Recall that the Nigeria Immigration Service had in July prevented 58 Nigerian doctors from migrating to the UK because they didn’t have visas.
It was, however, learnt that following the re-opening of the British High Commission a month ago, many of these doctors had obtained visas and had left even though the restriction on international flights had not been lifted, one will ask, how?
International flights are to resume work in the country on Saturday, the UK recently introduced a ‘Health and Care Visa’ policy, which aims to make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals to migrate to the UK.
“I cannot say for sure how many of us have left but I am currently in the UK and many of us who were turned back that day have also departed Nigeria,” one of the 58 doctors told The journalist.
The 58 Nigerian doctors, who were prevented by immigration from travelling to the UK were expected to earn between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per year depending on the experience they have, according to NES Health Care, a UK-based firm that helps over 150 private hospitals to recruit doctors from all over the world.
Other destinations of choice include Canada, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia and the United States which recently approved
Speaking with our correspondent, the First Vice-President, National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Julian Ojebo, said 4,000 doctors might leave Nigeria between August and December.
He said Nigeria poor treatment of doctors and the hostile working environment had made migration almost inevitable.
Ojebo said, “One of the anaesthetists involved in transplant in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital has relocated to Saudi Arabia. One of the best brains in Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital has been offered a job for $10,000 in Saudi Arabia. He is leaving immediately after the lockdown and many that we don’t know.