The Ondo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has lamented the rate at which medical doctors and other healthcare practitioners are leaving the services of the state government.
The group said the state was the worst hit of doctors’ brain drain in the South-West due to non-payment of their salaries and other bonuses; noting that the government is still owing medical doctors four months’ salary.
The association’s state chairman, Dr Stella Adegbehingbe, stated this while speaking in Akure, the state capital.
Adegbehingbe, whose tenure as chairman expires in a few days, said her administration had been filled with many prospects and challenges, particularly the non-payment of salaries of her members by the state government.
She said, “The issue of brain drain of medical doctors and other health workers, we have started to feel the impacts because it is very massive and it is not only in Ondo State, though Ondo State is the worst hit in the South West and that is the truth. The national body and the state body of NMA have been engaging the government.
“Immediately the percentage payment started, we knew there would be problems. We also appealed to the government to be proactive so that these medical doctors would be encouraged because once they start leaving, getting them back would be very difficult.
“Unfortunately, nothing was done and that was why at the beginning of my tenure, there were a series of strikes and by the last time we went on strike, I told the government that the time would come that there would no longer be strike because by that time, there would be no doctors to go on strike.