The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has opposed the proposed five-year compulsory service for medical and dental practitioners.
Last Thursday April 6, a bill seeking a minimum of five years for doctors to practice in the country, before being granted a full licence passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
Concerned about the mass exodus of healthcare workers leaving Nigeria for greener pastures abroad, Honourable Ganiyu Johnson (APC/Lagos) who sponsored the bill said it seeks to amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act 2004, to address the brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.
The bill, if passed into law, will mandate medical and dental practitioners trained in the country to practice for at least five years before they are granted a full licence.
Speaking on Wednesday April 12, the NMA President, Dr Ojinma Uche (pictured above), said the bill is not the solution to the pending crisis in Nigeria’s healthcare system.
“That is not the solution.” He told Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“You will discourage young medical students from reading Medicine. My own fear now is that it may have spooked the doctors that will be planning to leave in a year to start leaving immediately, before they are clamped down,” he stated.
“If you now decide that Nigerian doctors cannot have full or permanent licence for five years after graduation, automatically, you have made them house officers for five years.”