The Oasis Reporters
September 25, 2021
My name is Greg Abolo. A blogger at The Oasis Reporters. Perhaps our readers may have noticed that we didn’t blog for about five days. We apologize, but indeed there was a reason. I was admitted in a Nigerian private hospital for surgery and the team was all over me. No one outside my circle knew and one thing about me is I hate to talk about some of my low moments on social media.
I was moved to write about this topic because an awesome social media friend of mine who I respect highly, made a post on this topic.
Welcome, Kelechi Deca:
“In the last 103 days (June 10 to Sept. 21, 2021), the United Kingdom employed 353 Nigerian doctors. Bringing the total number employed from July 24, 2020 to date, to 862 – GMC.
Overall, 8,737 Nigerian trained doctors ( not Nigerian doctors) are currently practicing in the United Kingdom alone.
Meanwhile the strike action embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has entered its 64th day in the midst of a Covid pandemic and Cholera outbreak.
It could be recalled that a poll by NOI in 2018 showed that 88% of Nigerian doctors were considering a ‘Plan B’.
Now you just read what the cerebral Kelechi Deca wrote.
I also recall that during the regime of President Umaru Yar’Adua, it was reported that 20,000 Nigerian doctors were practicing in the US alone. When President Goodluck Jonathan came into office, I heard him say on national television that 25,000 Nigerian doctors were practicing in the US.
Now it is a deluge. Big rush. Right after medical college, they are off!
Permit me to talk about my surgery barely two days ago. I was actually discharged from the private hospital yesterday and as recuperation continues, I had to hit the keyboard while my dutiful wife keeps looking at the stitches as she grumbled about my restless spirit.
The day I practically collapsed, the doctor had been called. The humble young man had said to me that they were overworked. “Three doctors had resigned and gone abroad in the last three weeks and we are finding it difficult to get replacements”.
“Doc”, my voice pleaded, “are you planning to leave as well?”, I asked. “No way Sir. I love Nigeria, I nor go lie“. He sounded defiant.
” My condition, what can be done?”.
” Only surgery Sir”.
Teaching Hospitals were on strike, but he got two other surgeons (you know, each one does a different job) to get the job done.
And the Nurses ? Who was it that reported the other day that the Nursing and Midwifery Council had announced that within the last few months, 35,000 Nigerian nurses had voted with their feet and gone abroad?
While in the private hospital, the nurses were struggling to do what they should do. I preached patriotism to them and begged that they should please, not abandon us.
The surgery was successful. That is why I am writing this.
On another note, I once had another health challenge. One doctor on my list of social media friends’ list flew to London, so I called her UK number.
” Doc, are you staying back to work in the UK ?”. She retorted, “not even for a million pounds a day. I specifically hate the cold here and love my Nigeria“. There are many like that.
But what are the striking doctors asking for, really ? Kelechi says they are absolutely normal things that any serious government should afford, and even do above the demands. But Nigeria must service the opulence of the politicians and their lavish tastes for jets, weddings, palatial homes and grandiose 17th century pet projects. Yet when they fall sick, they would go abroad. With Nigerian doctors all over Arabia, Europe and America, they just may fall into the hands of Nigerian doctors they scorned at home and forced to flee abroad against their personal wish and desire. They will then know how the mighty fall with a great thud.
Some of these young Nigerian doctors are leaving family, friends and homeland behind with bitterness in their hearts.
Written by Greg Abolo.