Shortage of Doctors Posing A Threat to Nigeria’s Health Sector

Based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard which stipulates the ratio of 1:600 doctors to patients respectively, and at most, 1:1000,  Nigerians are shocked with the recent revelation that 100 years will be  what would be needed for the country to be able to produce the number of doctors it needs.

One of the reason being obvious, as the medical profession has become elitist with most undergraduates paying about N3 million or more per session, thereby making it very difficult for the brilliant but average Nigerian to study the course to completion.

Only 35,000 medical doctors can be said to be in practice, in a developing country with a population of approximately 170 million people whose majority are prone to diseases and malnutrition. This is equivalent to the ratio of 1:4,857, a far cry from global standards and best practices.

Not forgetting the fact that Nigeria is a fast growing population and has been predicted to be one of the world’s populous countries by 2030. What modalities have been set in place towards tackling the challenge or will the citizenry sheepishly continue to call itself a middle income country? The United States has a doctor-patient ratio of about 390 or thereabouts.

This calls for deep thinking in and outside the health box of so-called political leaders who suck the nation’s resources dry and have nothing to show for the jamboree they they enjoy.

Adequate funding must also be invested into the field of medical sciences as well as strict compliance to the implementation of set standards.

Comparing Nigeria with other developing countries that have been caught in this quagmire is not enough and as such remain in our present state. Nigeria is regarded to be the giant of the continent and must set an example for sister nation’s to emulate. The refusal to do this will simply put the nation in the status of a sleeping giant of the feet of clay, hence the need for a quick and purposeful action which has become a long walk which the government must tactfully engage in, and now is the time to  start.