Nigerian medical doctors wishing to leave the country for overseas jobs may have to reconsider their stance , owing to the rising COVID – 19 pandemic globally, their senior colleagues have said .
Senior health care workers say this is not the time for doctors to be in a rush to leave the country , “ irrespective of the attractive welfare package beckoning abroad .”
They hinged their counselling on what they described as “the multiple risks presented by the pandemic , especially for health workers .”
Recall that Nigeria Immigration Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport , Lagos , recently intercepted 58 Nigerian doctors who were travelling to the UK.
The NIS said 56 of the doctors did not have requisite visa for their journey .
It has been observed that before the COVID – 19 pandemic , health workers were leaving the country in droves , attributing their action to poor working conditions , lack of job satisfaction , low wage and high tax , among others .
In separate interviews with PUNCH HealthWise on the issue , medical experts urged doctors who wish to leave the country to consider their safety first , rather than the welfare package and opportunities being offered .
A past President , Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria , Dr. Omede Idris , said the COVID – 19 pandemic had presented lots of uncertainties globally that require caution before one thinks of leaving the country .
Idris , also a former President , Nigerian Medical Association , said , “I am so shocked that some doctors are going for greener pastures now . This is the time the whole world is saying , ‘Stay where you are .’
“The COVID -19 situation that we are in now , nobody can predict what will happen the next minute . Whatever greener pastures they want to acquire, they may not be there to enjoy it.
“ Those desperate to leave the country should also know that they are going to another nation . Sometimes , what they think they will get may never be as expected when they get there .
“So , let them not be in a rush to leave the country .”