Nigerian Doctors Call for Overhaul of Healthcare System to Tackle Brain Drain. In a press briefing held as part of the 2023 ARD Health Week, the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) under the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) called for urgent reforms within Nigeria’s healthcare system to combat the alarming issue of brain drain.

Dr. Rahman Olayinka, the President of the ARD in FCT, addressed journalists in Abuja, expressing deep concern over the steady exodus of five to ten association members each week seeking better opportunities abroad. Olayinka emphasized that the primary motivation for this migration was the pursuit of improved welfare packages, conducive work environments, and comprehensive healthcare systems with robust insurance coverage for families.

The advocacy is for improved welfare packages. Health workers are leaving because they get a better welfare package, good working environment, and a proper health care system, including good insurance cover for their families. We are, therefore, calling for a total overhaul of the healthcare system in the country to reverse the trend,” he stated.

Despite the FCTA’s recent salary and wage increases, Olayinka highlighted that the implementation of the new scale had not taken effect. He underscored the overarching theme of the weeklong event, “The State of Nigeria’s Health Care System: An Update,” as an opportunity to address critical issues affecting the nation’s healthcare sector.

The president stressed the urgent need to align Nigeria’s healthcare system with World Health Organization guidelines, emphasizing the week’s discussions on unresolved crises within the health system, the roles of government and society in improving healthcare, and the prevalent issues of medical victimization and bullying of medical practitioners.

Alongside discussions, the association plans to conduct medical outreach programs, hold conferences, convene an annual general meeting, and conduct elections. These activities are aimed at not only addressing systemic issues but also fostering a stronger, more supportive healthcare environment.

The ARD’s call for a comprehensive revamp of the healthcare system underscores the gravity of the situation and the imperative need for immediate action to retain and empower healthcare professionals within Nigeria.