The Nigerian Medical Students’ Association, NiMSA has fired back at the House of Representatives over the proposed bill to mandate Nigerian-trained medical or dental practitioners to practice in Nigeria for a minimum of five years before being granted a full license to practice.
This was contained in a statement released by the association on Thursday.
NiMSA said the bill, sponsored by Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson of the House of Representatives is “unpatriotic, ill-timed and a breach of the fundamental human right of doctors as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended”.
They said the bill “will end up achieving the direct opposite as the bill seeks to enslave Nigerian trained doctors and paralyze the health care system, ” whilst calling for the government to equip hospitals and provide better treatment for doctors.
NiMSA said the bill sponsor, Rep Johnson, should focus on the issue of medical tourism and creating an enabling environment for medical practice in the country rather than promoting a bill on “doctor slavery”.
“Rep. Johnson at this point should be steering conversations on medical tourism and not doctor slavery. We firmly believe that this bill is not the solution to the problem of brain drain, and we stand against it in its entirety in the strongest possible terms.The intention behind the sponsorship of this bill does not take into consideration the root causes of brain drain in Nigeria.
“The issue of brain drain is multifaceted and requires a more comprehensive approach to tackle it.Instead of trying to forcefully take doctors as slaves, the lawmakers should be focusing on creating an enabling environment that encourages doctors to stay and work in Nigeria. The lack of infrastructure, inadequate and inappropriate remuneration, and poor working conditions.”