The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has stated that medical workers trained by the government should be made to sign a bond that would make them serve the country for at least nine years before they can consider relocating to another country.
Ngige proposed that government-trained medical personnel including doctors should not be allowed to leave the country at will after receiving training for free at public expense.
This was made known on Wednesday while speaking about brain drain at the 2022 Budget Defence of his Ministry at the House of Representatives.
“Medical education in Nigeria is almost free. Where else in the world is it free? The Presidential Committee on Health should come with a proposal for bonding doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and other health workers so that they don’t just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost.
“In London, it is 45,000 pounds a session for medical education in cheap in universities. If you go to Edinburgh or Oxford, you pay 80,000 dollars. If you go to USA you pay 45,000 dollars but if you go to the Ivy leagues, you pay 90,000 dollars for only tuition, excluding lodging. You do it for six years. So, people in America take loans.
“We can make provisions for loans and you pay back. If the government will train you for free, we should bond you. You serve the country for nine years before you go anywhere,” he said.
Many Nigerian doctors have been going abroad in search of greener pastures, further depleting the number of doctors at home. In August, Saudi Arabia recruited some doctors from Nigeria.
The recruitment exercise was organised by the ministry in conjunction with Successlink Consult in Ikeja, Lagos state capital.
The offer was for consultants and specialists in all medical fields, excluding psychiatrists.
Medical consultants and doctors in various areas of specialisation showed up in large numbers for the exercise.