No fewer than 6,068 medical doctors moved to the United Kingdom since the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President on May 29, 2015.
According to data obtained by PUNCH from the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom (UK), the total number of Nigeria-trained doctors who migrated to the UK as of August 30, 2022 stood at 10,096.
Nigerian doctors who got medical qualifications in schools outside the country are not included in the data.
The data revealed that 233 Nigerian doctors passed the examination to practice in the UK in 2015.
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 despite the fact that the GMC closed operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figure for 2021 was put at 932.
So far in 2022, the data revealed that 1,107 Nigerian-trained doctors have been licensed to practice.
Presently, Nigeria has the third highest number of foreign doctors working in the UK after India and Pakistan.
Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Alfa Yusuf, told PUNCH that brain drain is a menace bedevilling the health sector.
Yusuf expressed fear that it may get to a stage where Nigeria will have to be scouting for doctors in the country.
He said, “The only way to solve this is for the government to come up with a policy to address brain drain: good remuneration, hazard allowance paid as and when due and introduction of tax rebate, especially to health care workers.
“They should also give packages that entice our doctors to other countries. They should look at packages that will make our doctors stay in the country and not go elsewhere.”
The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Uche Ojinma, had, in an earlier interview noted that the brain drain being witnessed in the country would worsen the health sector.
The Minister of Health, Ehanire Osagie, had claimed that Nigeria has enough doctors.
Osagie, however, could not be reached for comments as calls and messages sent to him via his known telephone number were unanswered.
Other popular destinations for Nigeria-trained doctors include the United States, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Australia.