Reps move to prevent Nigerian-trained doctors to practice 5 years in Nigeria before seeking greener pastures Abroad

The Nigerian House of Representatives has passed a bill through a second reading to prevent locally trained medical or dental practitioners from being granted full licences until they have worked for a minimum of five years in the country as a way of giving back to the society.

Hon. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson representing Oshodi-Isolo II Federal Constituency sponsored the bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap M329, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004..”

The second reading went smoothly on the floor yesterday and was supported by the majority of the lawmakers in a session which was chaired by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Lagos lawmaker argued that it is fair for any medical or dental practitioner trained in the country to serve the country for the period of time as a way to give back to the society haven enjoyed the subsidy on the education from tax payers before they move abroad to practice.

that another member of the House, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta who is representing Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency however opposed the bill likening it to enslavement to tie a doctor down.

Despite the fact that majority of the Federal lawmakers supporting the bill, they however called for flexibility and options in the envisaged law.

Recall that the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Uche Rowland, recently said that Nigeria currently has only 24,000 licensed medical doctors available in the country, less than 10 per cent of the number needed to meet a WHO recommendation.

A large number of Nigerian doctors are emigrating to seek greener pastures in developed countries and nothing less than 5,600 of them have migrated to the United Kingdom (UK) in the last eight years.

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