FG Plans Overseas Training for Medical Specialists to Curb Tourism

Addresses the economic issues that medical professionals in Nigeria face, which have contributed to a brain drain in the healthcare industry
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In an intentional drive to improve healthcare services and minimize reliance on medical tourism, the Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans for medical workers to get specialized training overseas.

Dr. Tunji Alausa, Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, announced the effort during the investiture of Dr. Peter Ebeigbe as President of the National Postgraduate Medical College in Lagos on Friday. The collaboration intends to create an innovative curriculum that addresses crucial health sector concerns.

Dr. Alausa highlighted the process of creating a new curriculum for subspecialties such as interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, interventional radiology, pain medicine, critical care medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, and robotic surgery, among others.

This project aims not just to minimize the need for Nigerians to seek medical care abroad, but also to develop research capacity in the country. Training will be concentrated on surgical oncology and transplant surgery, with a specific emphasis on kidney, liver, lung, and heart transplants.

During his speech, Dr. Ebeigbe addressed the economic issues that medical professionals in Nigeria face, which have contributed to a brain drain in the healthcare industry. He highlighted personal experiences provided by friends who had worked in the Middle East, pointing out to the huge disparity in pay compared to Nigeria.

Ebeigbe praised the Federal Government's initiatives, such as the implementation of the Medical Salary Scale, which has boosted doctor's salaries, therefore decreasing brain drain to some extent. However, he emphasised the necessity for more economic initiatives to avert the collapse of the health system.

The effort by the Federal Government and the National Postgraduate Medical College is a crucial step towards Nigeria's self-sufficiency in healthcare provision and the establishment of a strong research environment. Nigeria hopes to retain its medical professionals by investing in specialised training and tackling economic imbalances. As these initiatives are implemented, there is a positive prospect for not just improving healthcare quality but also stabilising Nigeria's healthcare workforce.

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