By Sade Adewale, Ondo
The immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has raised the alarm over doctors’ brain drain in the nation’s health sector.
Speaking at the induction ceremony of the first set of medical doctors of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo, the former governor said that ” a situation where doctors and other health workers are trained at a subsidised rate in Nigeria and in turn abandoned the country for developed countries calls for huge concern.
Mimiko said “We are in an emergency. If we continue at this rate, in another five to ten years, only the “babalawos” (herbalists) will be available to take care of us. It is an emergency, and the government must see it as an emergency.
“The government must disincentive the rate at which our medical doctors and medical personnel are emigrating out of this country.”
He described the present situation in the health sector as a war situation following the alarming rate medical personnel are moving abroad for better opportunities
The institution, UNIMED, was established during his administration in order to help fill the dearth of medical workers in the country as he lamented that other countries have been poaching those who have been trained and giving nothing back to the country in return.
Mimiko lauded Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for resisting pressure to relocate UNIMED from Ondo town adding that the governor’s efforts at giving the first medical institution in the country the best, manifested when he appointed Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, the current Vice Chancellor of the University, based on merit, despite protest from some quarters.
The former Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Friday Okonofua said the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) has produced a new crop of doctors who will address the challenges currently faced by the medical profession in the country.
According to him, the graduating doctors remained the first ambassadors of UNIMED whose performance will determine the quality of respect that the university will earn from now on.
He however recommended that something should be done to integrate the UNIMED Teaching Hospital into the University. The two institutions currently function in parallel with one not understanding how the other functions.