Nigeria as a country is daily losing its best hands, who depart the shores of the country for greener pastures elsewhere.
Among the very set of trained hands who are leaving Nigeria in droves are members of the medical profession, both doctors and nurses, who believe they have better opportunities outside the shores of Nigeria.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige stoked controversy yesterday when he asked as many Nigerian doctors interested in leaving the country not to hesitate to do so. He said the nation already had enough doctors.
Ngige who was speaking while appearing on Sunrise Daily, a daily morning programme on Channels TV said the doctors who were leaving the country will help pump in foreign earnings into Nigeria.
He said, “No, I am not worried (about doctors leaving the country). We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.
“Who says we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send it back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.”
We bring you the top seven (7) nations where Nigerian doctors are emigrating to.
1. United Kingdom
Pulse reported in March that 75 candidates were registered for this year’s UK PLAB 1 exams in Nigeria. The paper was quoting the Media Relations Officer UK General Medical Council, Sarah Orr.
The UK PLAB 1 is the first stage of the two stages PLAB test.
The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test, or the PLAB test, helps to ensure doctors who qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practise medicine in the UK.
Another report published in September 2018 says 5,405 Nigerian-trained doctors and nurses are currently working with the British National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.
According to a survey conducted by NOI polls, 93% of Nigerian doctors seek work opportunities in the UK.
2. United States
After the UK, the United States is the second highest destination for Nigerian doctors.
According to the survey by the NOI Polls, 86% of practicing Nigerian doctors seek opportunities in the US.
To become certified for medical practice in the US a foreign trained doctor must pass the United States Medical Licensing Exams, USMLE.
Presently, Canada is the number one destination for Nigerians who are leaving the country for greener pastures, and doctors are not left out.
NOI poll says that Nigeria doctors seeking working opportunities abroad go to Canada.
To practice medicine in Canada, a foreigner must pass the Medical Council for Canadian Examination, MCCE.
4. Saudi Arabia
The Cable last month reported how Nigerian doctors thronged Ladi Kwali hall, Sheraton hotel to take part in an interview by the Saudi Arabia health ministry to employ medical consultants, specialists and medical officers in various fields with priority areas such as anaesthesia, ICU, paediatrics, surgery, emergency and internal medicine as well as ophthalmology.
Nigerian doctors are emigrating to Saudi Arabia in droves because the country pays well compared to other countries.
Australia also remains another destination for Nigerian doctors.
According to NOI polls, 53% of Nigerian doctors are seeking opportunities to work in Australia.
To qualify to work in Australia, a Nigerian doctor must have passed the Australian Medical Council examination.
6. UAE (Dubai)
One of the top most destinations for buying and shopping for Nigerians, Dubai is also one of the top destinations for Nigerian doctors.
Doctors who want to practice in Dubai must pass the Dubai Health Authority examination.
7. The Caribbean Islands
Nigerian doctors also emigrate to the Caribbean Islands.
According to NOI polls 17% of Nigerian doctors are seeking opportunities to work in the Caribbean Islands
Do you know any other countries where Nigeriam doctors run to? Drop your comments.