Former Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on the Federal Government to establish a National Health Service Scheme to engage newly licenced health workers for a fixed period of time in order to curb the menace of brain drain in Nigeria.
Fayemi made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at an induction retreat of the commissioner of health in Abuja with the theme, ‘Navigating Health Leadership from Promise to Impact’, organised by the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum.
According to the former governor, “For health workers we have trained, there will be some kind of scheme, like National Health Service scheme for newly licenced health workers that would enable them to spend some time in a fixed period not limitless from three to five years.
He added: “Whilst you’re doing that your licence is held by the Nigerian Dental and Medical Council or a regulatory body that gives you that licence and once you’re done, you can decide you want to stay or you want to leave.”
He also recommended that any countries coming to recruit doctors or health workers from Nigeria must pay for the training of the substitution of outgoing candidates.
“For countries that want to come and recruit doctors from Nigeria, or health workers, you should pay for the training of the substitution.
While illustrating further, Fayemi said, it is like tree planting. You go into the forest, when you do deforestation, afforestation must followed and afforestation must be encouraged.
In her goodwill message, the United States Centers for Disease Control(USCDC) Nigeria Country Director, Dr Mary Boyd, while commending health commissioners, charged them to make sacrifices for the honor of serving, the communities from which they were born and raised and are connected.
Boyd said, “The chief goal must be to have a positive and lasting impact on the health outcomes of the most vulnerable members of our society.
“You have been appointed agents of change in your ecosystem- your visionary leadership, sense of mission, and political and persuasive competencies will be needed as you necessarily navigate the intersection of public health and clinical care to improve these health outcomes in your respective states,” she added.
Also, the World Health Organisation(WHO) country representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo said the health situation in Nigeria requires uncommon approaches to make a remarkable difference.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Health Commissioners'(HCH) Forum, Dr Oyebanji Filani in his welcome address, disclosed that the aim of the retreat is simply to equip commissioners of health with the knowledge, skills, and ethical foundations necessary for good governance.