Over 600 Nurses, Doctors Resigned from UCH Ibadan in 12 Months

The University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan says more than 600 of its clinical workers have resigned their appointments.

Jesse Otegbayo, UCH’s chief medical director (CMD), said this on Monday at a media briefing to mark the 65th founder’s day of the hospital.

The professor said the situation, which he attributed to health workers relocating abroad, has taken a toll on the operations of the hospital.

He said between 2020 and October 2021, more than 600 health workers left the hospital.

“Every week, I receive about 15 resignation letters; there are more nurses than doctors and pharmacists,” he said.

“The movement of health workers will continue for a while, I must confess, but the consequences are not going to be good for Nigeria because, in the next five years, we will feel full impact.”

He, however, said the federal ministry of health had already instituted committees to look into the retention of health workers.

In 2015, Danladi Kifasi, the then head of service of the federation, said an embargo had been placed on all federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to checkmate “indiscriminate employments and promotions” that had bloated the payroll.

Since then, various stakeholders, including the house of representatives, have urged the federal government to lift the embargo and implement strategies to increase labour productivity.

Otegbayo said the committee of CMDs of tertiary hospitals had also made suggestions on this to different committees, including asking that the government ensures full replacement of staff members that have left.

He said the challenges faced by UCH in providing training, research, and healthcare services also included the high cost of diesel, poor power supply, bureaucratic bottlenecks in replacing staff, negative perception, and high expectations from the public.

The prolonged ASUU strike which lasted eight months has also halted the training of critical staff in the hospital.

CONCERN OVER DOCTORS LEAVING THE COUNTRY

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had also expressed concern over the recent trend of medical doctors leaving the country.

The medical body said there may be a need to hire doctors from foreign countries in the future.

In an effort to curb the trend, the United Kingdom had said it would look into supporting the Nigerian government to prevent brain drain in the country’s health sector.

Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, said the commitment was necessary following a recent spike in visa applications from Nigerians.

“We have a labour shortage in the UK at the moment. But we have to balance that because we do not also want to be responsible for a massive brain drain from Nigeria because you also need talented people,” Laing said.

“So, the health sector is an example where there are a lot of Nigerian medics, both nurses and doctors, in the national health service.”

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