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Monday, 04 December 2023 06:47

Japa: 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors move to UK since May

About 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors moved to the United Kingdom since May 29, 2023, to date, PUNCH Online’s investigation has revealed.

At the moment, Nigeria is set to overtake Pakistan and become the country with the second-highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

Currently, India remains the country with the highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

This is according to the register of the General Medical Council of the UK.

The GMC is a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK.

Though about 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed between May 29, 2023, and December 1, 2023, the total number of Nigerian doctors licensed to practise in the UK is now 12,198.

This figure, however, excludes Nigerian doctors who were trained in other countries.


Presently, there are 73 Nigerian-trained doctors in the field of anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, 61 in the field of emergency medicine, 241 for general medicine, 207 for obstetrics and gynecology, 17 for occupational medicine, 16 for ophthalmology, pediatrics field with 164, and 50 for pathology.

There are 35 of them for public health, 357 for psychiatry, 29 for psychiatry and 135 for surgery.

The rate of migration of medical doctors has recently become a matter of concern. The Nigerian Medical Association, while lamenting the high rate of medical brain drain, had said Nigeria might import doctors in the future.

In 2015, only 233 Nigerian doctors moved to the UK. The number increased to 279 in 2016, while the figure was 475 in 2017. In 2018, the figure rose to 852, while it further increased to 1,347 in 2019.

In 2020, the figure was 833 even though the GMC closed operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The figure for 2021 was put at 932.

The Chairman, Committee of Chief Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals, Prof. Emem Bassey, commenting on the brain drain recently said, “Some African countries are also beginning to poach from Nigeria.

“The West Coast is looking for our specialists. So many people are now going to places like Sierra Leone and Gambia and the wages they earn are $3,000 to $4,000. It is about three to four times what they earn back home. So we are beginning to see that people are leaving for other African countries too.

“The health sector is currently undergoing a major crisis in terms of manpower. What we are seeing is that medical specialists, not just doctors, even nurses even more nurses are leaving. Doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, radiographers and all manner of health professionals are leaving the country in droves.”

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