Managing Director of Save A Life Mission Hospital, Dr. Richard Okoye, has said continued lack of motivation for medical professionals fuels exodus of health specialists to foreign countries.
A recent report has it that 35,000 health professionals, mostly doctors, have left Nigeria for United Kingdom and United States of America as preferred destinations.
Okoye, who emerged winner of the 2022 Sun Newspaper Public Service Award, also noted that government’s disregard for patriotism has worsened brain drain.
He said: “Any nation that does not honour, reward or value patriotism will also suffer brain drain. There are people, irrespective of what you offer them, will not travel out, but if you do not appreciate them for the little they do towards the growth of the economy and the health sector, they will be discouraged. If nothing is done, we may be heading to a worse health tsunami.
“The issue is that a doctor that goes outside the country for advanced training knows what doctors like him are paid outside the country, but because of patriotism and passion for his people, he will come back to offer such services in government hospitals and someone, by reason of salary structure, will say he or she belongs to level 12.4 and that is your salary.
“You will kill the motivation the individual has come with. In the current dispensation, people are paid based on the value they bring into the system. The fellow that comes back from advanced training is brining value and needs something profitable to sustain that passion and he or she needs to be appreciated like what the Sun Newspaper is doing.”