After Working Overseas For Years, Nigerian Doctor Says Home Is 'Where Impact Is Required'

2024-06-11 09:21:11

The Whistler Nigeria

A Nigerian Medical Doctor, Dr. Patrick Ezie, who has lived and worked overseas for years, has disclosed that from his experience, Nigeria is where healthcare services are needed the most.

Ezie disclosed this during an interview with THE WHISTLER.

Ezie, the Medical Director of Silver Cross Hospital, Guidna in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) noted that the lives his hospital has been able to save was a testament that "home is where the impact is needed, not overseas".

"If you go through my CV, I have lived and worked overseas in different countries. I used to be the deputy chair for the World Medical Association, Junior Doctors' Network. It means that at one point, I was the number two doctor in the world for young doctors.

"Before I got to that position, I was once the executive director for Africa and then I started the Young Doctors Network for Africa. I was the Publicity Secretary for Nigeria Medical Association(NMA), FCT Branch. I have held several committee positions in the NMA. I used to be National President, Nigeria Medical Science Association. In the realms of medicine, both national and international, I have made some inroads.

"Because of all these, I have a different view of what is going on. If you look at what this hospital has achieved, in terms of the lives we have been able to save, in the short time that we have been here, you will know that this is where the impact is required not overseas.

"However, I travel there from time to time, to do certificate courses and update myself but for me, those skills are needed here. That's why I decided to stay and assist people in underserved communities," he said.

Ezie however admitted that conditions in the country are discouraging many doctors from staying at home, saying he has nothing against those intending to travel abroad to work.

"So all those who make up their mind that they want to go, I encourage them because you will make the money fast and you will be respected. Here it is harder because the system is against you. You have to put in more work. Sometimes, you have to do the impossible like coming in the middle of nowhere to set up a hospital. But at the end of the day, everybody is built differently.

"That is why I said you have to listen to yourself. Don't delude yourself that you are like other people. Don't copy others thinking that it will favour you because the person might have some intrinsic gifts that will make things possible that you don't have," he said.

However, Ezie lamented the huge impact of the exodus of doctors from the country, warning that "If Nigeria is not careful, in the next ten to fifteen years, to see a doctor will be like seeing a blue moon."

Reacting to the recent number of doctors who renewed their licence to practice in Nigeria, Ezie stated that the implication was devastating for the country's health sector.

"Recently, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, revealed that of all the 132,000 doctors ever registered, only 58,000 of them renewed their licence.

"For us, renewing the licence is everything because If you don't renew, when the next year comes , you pay double. You not renewing the licence either means that you are dead or you don't have interest in practicing in Nigeria, forever.

"That's a big statement. It means in a country of 200 million people, all you have are 58, 000 doctors practicing actively. With this, you know that the country is in serious trouble," he said.

The Silver Cross MD, therefore called on the Nigerian government to have the political will to drive the laws that are available to ensure that the Nigerian people get the healthcare services they deserve.

2024-06-11 News