Records from the General Medical Council have shown that at least 200 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed by the government of the United Kingdom in just one month.
On the website of the General Medical Council (the body which licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK), the GMC licensed at least 200 Nigerian-trained doctors between August 31, 2022, and September 30, 2022.
This was a result of Nigeria’s continued battle of brain drain in its history, according to reports.
More so, statistics indicated that between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022, about 1,307 doctors trained in Nigeria were licensed in the UK.
Altogether, 10,296 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practise in the UK.
This, however, excluded Nigerian doctors who got medical qualifications in schools outside the country.
Meanwhile, the rate of migration of medical doctors recently became a matter of concern. The Nigerian Medical Association, while lamenting the high rate of medical brain drain, had said Nigeria might import doctors in the future.
In 2015, only 233 Nigerian doctors moved to the UK. The number increased to 279 in 2016, while the figure was 475 in 2017. In 2018, the figure rose to 852 while it further increased to 1,347 in 2019.
In 2020, the figure was 833 although the GMC closed operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The figure for 2021 was put at 932.
Currently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
The National President of the Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigeria, Dr Victor Makanjuola reacted to the development.
“In the last two years, over 500 consultants in estimation have left the services of government hospitals for practice abroad.
“All our government hospitals are consultant-led practices, which is the global standard. Now, we lose 500 in just two years and we have found out that those who are more likely to leave are younger ones.
“To sustain the system and be able to train the next generation of medical doctors and medical students, Nigeria needs to retain the older consultants who are in their 50s and getting close to their retirement so that they can stay back and train the next generation of doctors and medical students.
“Otherwise, the disaster from brain drain would be doubled because we will lose the younger ones and the older ones at about the same time, and you will find a system without consultants. This will affect the standard of care and the quality of care given by hospitals.”