By Muawiya Shuaibu
Faruk Abubakar, Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, has said that over 42,000 nurses left the country in the past three years.
Abubakar expressed worry about the trend, emphasizing the crucial role nurses play in the healthcare sector.
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) had on Monday held a protest against the new certificate verification guidelines released by the Council.
The new guidelines, among others, require Nigerian nurses and midwives seeking verification of certificate(s) to foreign nursing boards or councils to have two years post-qualification experience.
Discussing the development, on Channels TV on Tuesday, Abubakar said, “Let me make it clear today, in the last three years over 42,000 nurses left this country and the country need them.”
“Government policies especially the present Renew Hope Agenda, a lot of policies are coming onboard, the Federal Ministry of Health came up with so many policies where Nigerian healthcare system will be improved.
“Now if we allow every Nigerian to leave as they are graduates, who are going to handle our healthcare services? Who are going to provide these services? We are Nigerians and it is our responsibility to these services.
“So we are not against anybody travelling but Nigerians must be served and must be provided with these quality healthcare since we are producing the quality and best nurses that are working anywhere in the world. Last year alone over 15,000 left, the number is increasing year by year,” he added.
However, Abubakar gave assurances that the Federal Ministry of Health is actively working to address the nurses’ concerns.
“I want to assure you the agency that is responsible for improving their welfare, the Federal Ministry of Health, is doing a lot to ensure the welfare they are talking about; better salary, better payment of allowances and better working environment.
“The minister of health is working hard to ensure very conducive working environment with provisions of equipment and instruments that will help them to provide quality care for Nigerians,” he said.
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