In Nigeria, a significant transformation is underway in the healthcare sector with the introduction of updated salary recommendations for medical professionals; particularly doctors and pharmacists. This move aims to tackle the persistent issue of inadequate compensation in the healthcare industry.
The necessity of a resilient healthcare system in Nigeria has been accentuated by various factors, including the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the phenomenon known as the “Japa syndrome,” where healthcare practitioners seek opportunities abroad. The invaluable expertise of these healthcare workers plays a pivotal role in disease management, infection prevention, and the preservation of public health.
Healthcare roles in Nigeria involve years of rigorous education and training. Professionals often invest 5-7 years in university programs, followed by internships and mandatory service in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Despite their unwavering commitment, healthcare professionals in Nigeria are frequently confronted with issues like inadequate compensation, excessive workloads, and challenging work environment.
A common response to these challenges has been strikes by doctors, both in the public and private sectors. These strikes are often triggered by demands for salary enhancement. For instance, in July-August 2023, resident doctors, represented by the National Association of Resident Doctors, staged a 3-week strike, advocating for a substantial increase in their salaries.
Thus, the consideration shown by the government right now is regarded as good news to the ears of every medical professional, and might be a major influence in alleviating the brain drain in the sector.