Brain drain: Lagos state faces shortage of 30,000 medical doctors

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has revealed a significant shortfall in the state’s medical workforce.

According to Abayomi, Lagos State is currently deficient by approximately 30,000 medical doctors necessary to meet its healthcare needs.

He made this revelation during a recent address at the ongoing 2024 Clean-Air Forum in Lagos.

The shortage

The commissioner highlighted this issue as a major contributor to the strain on the existing medical personnel, who are already stretched thin in an attempt to bridge the gap in the doctor-to-patient ratio.

The ongoing brain drain, he noted, has exacerbated the situation, further depleting the state’s healthcare resources.

In his speech, Abayomi lamented the negative repercussions of air pollution on public health and emphasized the importance of inter-agency collaborations to address this crisis effectively.

He stated that the state urgently needs more medical doctors to cope with the rising healthcare demands of Lagos, a city that continues to grow rapidly.

“Lagos’ annual population growth rate of six to eight per cent poses significant challenges, including in the health sector,” Abayomi said.

“Due to its daily increasing population, Lagos has a complex tuberculosis index, and the state is making substantial efforts to control its spread.”

He further stressed the importance of improving air quality and combating environmental pollution through collaborative efforts.

“As a government, we will continue to support all initiatives aimed at cleaning the air in our city to reduce the incidence of airborne and waterborne diseases that adversely affect the health of our residents,” Abayomi added.

What you should know

Addressing concerns about the shortage of bed spaces in state health centres, the commissioner acknowledged the public’s frustration and assured that the government is actively working to resolve this issue.

He mentioned that the construction of modern healthcare facilities across Lagos and the establishment of a medical research institution are pivotal steps towards addressing these challenges.

“We are committed to bridging the gap within the next 18 months to provide the public with the healthcare services they deserve,” he said, promising that these efforts would offer significant relief to patients and improve overall healthcare delivery in the state.

  • Lagos State, the economic and commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, has long grappled with significant challenges in its healthcare sector.
  • With a rapidly growing population, currently estimated at over 20 million, the state faces a daunting task in providing adequate healthcare services to its residents.
  • The brain drain in the healthcare sector has led to recurrent strikes by medical doctors, which have severely impacted the delivery of healthcare services.
  • These strikes typically arise from disputes over poor working conditions, inadequate remuneration, lack of essential medical supplies, and the failure of the state government to honour agreements reached with the doctors.

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