Reports reaching us have it that a good number of Nigerian medical doctors are warming up for a mass exodus out of the country as the lift of the ban on international travels draws closer.
From the data from the United Kingdom shows that Kingdom’s Medical Council that the number of Nigerian doctors migrating to the UK increased by almost 100 between July and August despite the restriction on international flights.
It was observed that even during the lockdown period, some doctors were still applying for visas and travelling out of the country for greener country even as the Covid-19 pandemic hits hard.
It was, however, learnt that following the re-opening of the British High Commission a month ago, many of these doctors had obtained visas and had left even though the restriction on international flights had not been lifted.
International flights will resume in the country on Saturday. The UK recently introduced a ‘Health and Care Visa’ policy, which aims to make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals to migrate to the UK.
A doctor in Abuja who spoke in anonymity said some Nigerian doctors have been offered jobs in Saudi Arabia and the offer is worth about $10,000 and they will be leaving immediately after the lockdown. The figure being projected is over 4000 resident doctors who have got jobs in Saudi Arabia and ready to leave the country after the Covid-19 lifting of travel ban between September and December 2020.
The 58 Nigerian doctors, who were prevented by immigration from travelling to the UK were expected to earn between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per year depending on the experience they have, according to NES Health Care, a UK-based firm that helps over 150 private hospitals to recruit doctors from all over the world.
Other destinations of choice include Canada, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia and the United States which recently approved.
“Out of the 33,000 registered doctors in Nigeria, the ones we have practising in Nigeria are less than 20,000. Over 13,000 are all around the world. Our problem is not education because when we go to saner climes we adapt so well and even do better than those who were trained abroad.”