FACT CHECK: Are there sufficient medical doctors in Nigeria as well being minister, Ehanire, claimed?


Minister of Well being, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has claimed that there are sufficient medical doctors in Nigeria. He made the assertion in Abuja on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 throughout a press convention.

He stated, “…We now have heard complaints of medical doctors who are actually leaving the system, however there are literally sufficient medical doctors within the system as a result of we’re producing as much as 2,000 or 3,000 medical doctors yearly within the nation and the quantity leaving is lower than 1,000.”

Recall additionally that the previous Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had in 2019 whereas answering a query on mind drain throughout a tv programme maintained that there have been greater than sufficient medical doctors within the nation.

“I’m not fearful about medical doctors leaving the nation. We now have surplus. When you have surplus, you export. It occurred some years in the past. I used to be taught chemistry and biology by Indian academics in my secondary college days, they’re surplus of their nation. We now have surplus within the medical occupation in our nation. I can let you know this. It’s my space, we’ve extra,” he had stated.


CLAIM 1: Does Nigeria have sufficient medical doctors?

Verdict: False

Findings by Each day Belief contradict the minister’s declare that there are sufficient medical doctors presently practising in Nigeria.

In line with knowledge from the World Well being Group (WHO), in 2003, three (2.65) medical doctors have been obtainable to take care of 10,000 folks within the nation. However the quantity peaked at 4 (4.49) in 2016 and (3.81) 2018.

Additionally, a current report by WHO revealed that for each 10,000 individuals in Nigeria, there are 4 medical doctors obtainable to deal with or attend to them. Nonetheless, WHO’s suggestion of doctor-patient ratio is one physician per 600 sufferers.

WHO knowledge on international medical doctors’ inhabitants amongst international locations has proven that some African international locations have extra medical doctors to take care of their inhabitants than Nigeria.

The WHO’s knowledge seize international locations’ ratio of accessible medical doctors per 10,000 folks in every nation.

Mauritius (27 medical doctors in 2020), Tunisia (13 in 2017), Cape Verde (8 in 2018), South Africa and Egypt (7 every in 2019), Gabon (6 in 2018) have extra medical doctors to take care of their populations than Nigeria.

Though Nigeria has extra medical doctors in contrast with another international locations throughout the identical African area corresponding to Angola, Kenya, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Cameroon and Niger.

As of 2018, Angola and Kenya had two medical doctors ratio of 10,000 inhabitants. In 2019, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Cameroon had lower than one physician ratio per 10,000 inhabitants. And, Niger has had lower than a physician to 10,000 residents since 2004.

In November 2021, the Nigeria Medical Affiliation (NMA) President, Harmless Ujah, had in his tackle on the digital eighth biennial and scientific xonference and annual common assembly of the Medical Girls Affiliation of Nigeria (MWAN), Kaduna state chapter, famous that “the present physician to inhabitants ratio within the nation is about one physician to between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants.

“This falls wanting the one physician to 600 inhabitants as beneficial by the World Well being Organisation. Which means that we want about 303,333 medical medical doctors now, and a minimum of 10,605 new medical doctors yearly to bridge the manpower hole within the well being sector,” he stated.

The Govt Director of a most cancers advocacy group, Mission PINK BLUE, Runcie Chidebe had disclosed final 12 months that Nigeria may have a scarcity of fifty,120 medical doctors and 137,859 nurses by 2030 as a consequence of mass migration of well being employees to overseas international locations.

He famous that in Nigeria, the density of physicians to a affected person is 4 medical doctors per 10,000 sufferers and 16.1 nurses and midwives per 10,000 sufferers, which he stated is lower than the World Well being Group (WHO) suggestions of 1 physician to 600 sufferers and the vital threshold of 23 medical doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 sufferers.

Corroborating this, the Govt Director/Chief Govt Officer of the Nationwide Main Well being Care Improvement Company (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, instructed journalists at a main healthcare summit in Abuja in March this 12 months that: “Right this moment, solely roughly 43 per cent of Nigerians have entry to high quality main healthcare providers with solely about 4 medical doctors obtainable per 10,000 folks, a fraction of the minimal fee beneficial by the United Nations (UN) for fundamental well being protection. It’s well known that 70 per cent of illness burden could be prevented and managed on the PHC (Main Well being Care) degree.”

One other survey performed by the Nigeria Well being Watch and NOI Polls confirmed that Nigeria had a deficit of certified medical doctors and wishes a minimum of 237,000 medical doctors to make sure the inhabitants’s well being wants are adequately catered for.

CLAIM 2: Variety of medical doctors leaving Nigeria annually lower than 1,000?

Verdict: False

It’s estimated that no fewer than 2,000 medical doctors depart Nigeria yearly, with a minimum of 8,983 Nigerian skilled medics presently working with the British Nationwide Well being Service in the UK.

Knowledge obtained from the web site of the Common Medical Council of the UK on the variety of overseas medical doctors working within the UK exhibits that no fewer than 727 medical medical doctors skilled in Nigeria relocated to the UK alone and have been licensed between December 2021 and Might 2022.

The info confirmed that Nigeria is the nation with the third highest variety of overseas medical doctors working within the UK, coming behind solely India and Pakistan.

Just lately, knowledge from the Medical and Dental Consultants Affiliation of Nigeria, MDCAN, had revealed that the overall variety of medical doctors which have migrated to the UK in two years have been practically 9,000 whereas the overall in the US, US, is about 3,895. Which means that about 6,447 Nigerian medical doctors migrated to the UK and US in every of these two years.

CLAIM 3: Is Nigeria producing as much as 2,000 or 3,000 medical doctors annually?

Verdict: Partly true

Final 12 months, NMA President, Harmless Ujah whereas lamenting the mind drain within the well being sector had hinted that the nation produced between 3,000 and three,500 medical doctors yearly. He stated, “… That is notably disturbing as a result of Nigeria solely graduates about 3,000 to three,500 medical medical doctors throughout medical faculties within the nation yearly.”


Obtainable knowledge contradict two of the claims made by the Minister of Well being, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, whereas one was partly true.

This reality examine was produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Improvement (CDD).


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