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A Bill To Keep Nigerian Doctors In The Country Passes Second Reading

A Bill To Keep Nigerian Doctors In The Country Passes Second Reading 

The law is part of an effort to reduce the number of physicians leaving Nigeria for better prospects elsewhere.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The House of Representatives has cleared the second reading on a measure aimed at reducing the outflow of Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to foreign nations.

The measure, proposed by Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, proposes that Nigeria-trained medical and dental practitioners labor in the nation for at least five years before receiving full licenses.

This policy is part of an effort to address the growing number of physicians who are leaving Nigeria in pursuit of better prospects.

The bill, titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M379, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to mandate any Nigeria-trained Medical or Dental Practitioner to Practise in Nigeria for a Minimum of Five (5) before being granted a full licence by the Council in order to make Quality health Services available to Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.2130),” was read on the floor of the House in Abuja on Thursday, Apriol 06, 2023.

Rep. Johnson stated that it was appropriate for medical practitioners who had received government funding to serve a minimum number of years in Nigeria before transferring their expertise overseas.

Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, however, rejected the bill, claiming that tying a doctor down for five years in Nigeria after graduation before seeking work abroad amounted to servitude.

Notwithstanding this resistance, the measure was carried on a second reading by a majority voice vote.

Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker, presided over the House plenary.

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