The Lagos State Government has taken a significant stride in combating the prevalent issue of brain drain, which has impacted the country’s healthcare industry. In an effort to address this pressing issue, they have revealed their ambitious intentions to establish the University of Health and Medical Sciences by the end of 2024. This momentous declaration was made by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during the commencement ceremony of the Femi Gbajabiamila General Hospital, held in Surulere, Lagos.
In addition, the governor underlined the significance of the medical university’s creation as a direct outcome of a purposeful partnership that happened between the state government as well as the Federal Ministry of Health. Highlighting the objective of this initiative, he mentioned how it seeks to amplify the output of healthcare professionals, thereby positioning Lagos State as a pioneering example that can be emulated across the country. This is crucial in a time like this.
Many medical individuals will be offered training and education.
Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, explained that the medical university is a hub for education and training, modelled after the renowned teaching hospitals of the United Kingdom and the United States. This innovative approach will entail integrating all general hospitals in the state into the university’s framework, providing students with invaluable hands-on experience. As a result of this integration, there will be a significant surge in yearly enrollment as they aim to accept a range of 2,000 to 2,500 medical students.
Additionally, they anticipate the inclusion of approximately 3,500 individuals from various allied healthcare professions, such as nurses, physiotherapists, biomedical engineers, and more. In order to combat the issue of brain drain issue that persists across the country within the medical field, Mr Alausa emphasised the Federal Government’s aim to implement a similar successful approach across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. This strategic undertaking seeks to bolster the number of medical personnel and allied healthcare professionals nationwide, ultimately addressing the challenge at hand.
Others are expected to emulate this initiative.
In his inauguration speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed deep conviction regarding the objective of this initiative. He emphasised the imperative of the government taking proactive measures rather than adopting a passive stance. The governor highlighted their determination to lead the way and inspire other states to establish similar universities aimed at fostering a greater number of doctors annually. He reiterated the dedication of the state towards ensuring that the essential resources and interventions are offered to retain the most exceptional talent across the nation.
Nigeria is currently facing a pivotal moment as it grapples with a widespread departure of healthcare practitioners, including doctors, pharmacists, and nurses, who are opting to relocate to more developed nations. The situation has reached a critical point, with Nigeria’s doctor-patient ratio exceeding the World Health Organization’s guidelines by over five times. Consequently, the country is witnessing a substantial annual loss of numerous doctors due to the phenomenon known as brain drain, with a significant proportion migrating to the United Kingdom to pursue better opportunities.
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Startling data revealed the fact that an astoundingly high number of 5,000 Nigerian healthcare professionals, specifically doctors, have relocated to the United Kingdom, commencing from 2015 up until 2022. By embarking on this courageous initiative, the Lagos State Government endeavours to revolutionise the nation’s healthcare system with the creation of the University of Health and Medical Sciences. This bold move not only aims to tackle current obstacles but also sets a remarkable precedent for other states to emulate, promising a complete transformation of healthcare across the country.
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