FG enters pact for expertise exchange with Nigerian doctors abroad

minister of health dr osagie ehanire x
minister of health dr osagie ehanire x

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The umbrella body of Nigerian medical doctors abroad and other healthcare professionals, including nurses and pharmacists, have entered into a pact with the Federal Government for the exchange of medical knowledge, skills and other competencies.

The government said the focus of the agreement is on how to attend to complex medical issues like kidney transplants which are difficult to resolve in Nigeria, forcing patients to seek treatment abroad.

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It disclosed that three tertiary health institutions – National Hospital, Abuja; UNN Teaching Hospital, Enugu; and University of Benin Teaching Hospital – have been designated for the pilot programme.

Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed the information to reporters in Abuja, expressed optimism that the collaboration will herald improved medical services, especially on complex issues.

‘We lack certain health care experts to deal with certain complex issues in the country, meanwhile, there are lots of Nigerians who are good and experts in such areas but are residents abroad,’ the minister said.

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‘They have agreed to exchange these skills and competencies with our doctors and other health workers back home here at no cost, and we are happy about that. There are several health cases that often force people to travel abroad where they are often attended to by Nigerian doctors. Our people abroad have decided to share the knowledge and competencies with us in order to help our people enjoy good health.’

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The Director, Special Project, PPP Diaspora, Federal Ministry of Health, Lawal Musa Mshelbwala, further explained that the pact is still at an early stage, hence their focus is on the training of people that would be used to execute the pilot stage of the project.

‘Training of these people began a few days ago across the three tertiary health institutions chosen for the takeoff. We intend to expand the net to provide opportunities for more people to get the needed knowledge and skills to successfully carry out certain complex medical issues,’ he stated.

‘These health professionals, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, approached the Federal Ministry of Health with the suggestions, and we agreed. The plan is for them to freely offer their knowledge and competencies in several areas that are unavailable here.

‘Undoubtedly, complex medical services like transplant and several others are scarce in Nigeria, meanwhile, there are lots of Nigerian doctors abroad who attends to that. This opportunity will go a long way in ensuring that doctors in Nigeria are equipped with relevant skills and knowledge to attend to certain health care issues,’ Mshelbwala said.

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