Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why Nigerian doctors, dentists are going abroad


Bukola Adebayo

A dental surgeon, Dr. Bolaji Ogundare, has identified poor pay and harsh working environment as some of the factors that force Nigerian-trained doctors to seek employment abroad.

Ogundare, while delivering the 11th Annual Faculty Conference and First Alumni Lecture held at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, noted that doctors were left with no choice but to take these juicy appointments abroad when they could no longer cope with the frustration enshrined in the country's system.

He also called for a review of the dental curriculum such that it would accommodate entrepreneurial and business management trainings, saying it would equip them with the skills needed to generate income and revenue even before they do become medical and dental graduates.

Ogundare, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Newcross Petroleum Limited, however, called on well-to-do Nigerians to invest in the health care sector especially tertiary institutions if they are to enjoy quality medical care.

According to Ogundare, who runs a dental practice in the United States, doctors can only deliver quality care when they are trained with it the right infrastructure.

"One of the things that have to happen is for us to reinvest in our health institutions. Many Nigerians have a lot of money but they are not spending it on health care. They are building mansions they don't need. But when they fall sick, they expect the doctors whom they have not invested in their training to treat them effectively.

"We need to look at how to develop hospitals to attract more Nigerians. I have listened to patients and I tell you they are discouraged to visit public hospitals. The right investment will change this belief."

Meanwhile, a Professor of Paediatric Dentistry and Dean of College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Obafunke Denloye, urged dentists - including students and teachers - to keep abreast with latest practices in the field of dentistry.

Denloye said they must leave their comfort zone to get the requisite knowledge if they were to compete favourably with their colleagues globally.