The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Plateau State, Dr. Pokop Bupwatda, has described the dwindling number of medical personnel in the hospital as alarming.
He disclosed that it has become a tradition to receive resignation letter from medical personnel who seek greener pastures outside Nigeria every week.
The shortage of medical doctors and other healthcare professionals continued to bite hard across Nigerian major teaching and general hospitals.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) confirmed the development, citing poor working conditions and failure of the government to carry out recruitment.
The NARD had confirmed that a ward at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile Ife, Osun State, which is the Behavioral Science/Psychiatry section has also been shut down due to shortage of personnel.
Days ago , the House of Representatives Committee on Health raised concerns over relocation of Nigerian doctors and nurses abroad which had caused a decline in the country’s health manpower.
The committee had disclosed that due to such rush abroad, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for instance has five wards comprising 150 beds which have been shut down over shortage of personnel.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr Amos Magaji, had described the situation as worrisome saying the legislative arm is working toward nipping the increasing rate of Nigerians going abroad for medical tourism in the bud.
Meanwhile, speaking with Vanguard, the JUTH Chief Medical Director, Bupwatda, who attributed the development to what he termed the pull and push factors, advocated for immediate replacement of vacant positions in JUTH for effective service delivery.
While expressing concerns about acts of sabotage, he highlighted obsolete and inadequate work tools as well as inadequate power supply, among others, as some of the challenges that were being looked into by relevant stakeholders.
He said, “JUTH is a centre where excellence is being pursued. We have great teachers, great consultants and great staff working to serve lives. Some of the equipment that we use has become obsolete and needs to be changed.
“Of course, there are new state-of-the-art equipment but, at the moment, we are unable to get them because we are practicing in a limited setting. We all know the challenge that we are exposed to in the health sector.
“Every week, I receive a letter of resignation from staff who are relocating from Nigeria to other countries. Doctors, nurses and other health workers, I see a lot of resignation among a particular group, radiographers. After interacting with some of them, one of the reasons why they are leaving is because they want a better working environment.
“There are some things responsible – the push and the pull factors. As I have mentioned, the poor working environment is one of them. For some, they are unable to meet their basic needs due to rising costs of commodities and so many other things.
“Another push factor is the incessant strike and industrial disharmony. When you are working and you hear, ‘this one is on strike, the hospital is closed down’, such a working environment may be hostile, so some decide to get to other climes that is sane.
“Also, the equipment to work with are lacking. We are in a resource-limited setting. So, all they learned, they will not be able to put fully into practice because some of the equipment that they need is not available. While we read them in textbooks, some have not even seen them.”