As doctors continue to move in drove to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures, one of the doctors, Okolo Vivian gave an insight as to why they are left with no option but to dump the Nigerian terrain.
Vivian in an interview with PlatinumPost said she was shocked to the marrow on sighting her lecturer in her undergraduate days at the venue of the recruitment exercise.
Vivian revealed that she graduated in 2011 and she has not been able to specialize because of the disruption in the medical field.
PlatinumPost covered the recruitment exercise conducted by the Saudi Ministry of Health at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Tuesday morning.
In her words: ”My teacher is here. The first person I sighted here was my teacher. A season paediatrics consultant. Do you know what that means? My teacher, taught me how many years ago? I didn’t fail any exams. I didn’t repeat a class. And it took me 10years to do a 6 years course. And, I graduated in April 2011. And I have been primarily with the West African College of Surgeons to do a Residency since 2014. And I am yet to get a slot or chance to even get into residency since 2014. after all the struggles to pass the entrance exam. After these 10 years of hustle and post-graduate graduation, you are still trying to specialize. Even if I have gone to learn a trade, I should know how far I have gone by now.
”Then I have given up on the country, on our leaders. When I come here to meet my teacher, I mean, this is the worst I can ever imagine. I never knew it has gone this bad. I cannot take it. I am not happy. The only thing that can pacify me is that any Minister in Nigeria or serving governor, or a past president who has a son or a daughter that is a medical doctor and practising in any teaching hospital in Nigeria and he or she is currently attending to patients despite the strike, let the person own up and I will join his or her daughter. I will work in that place for three months. It is a promise. Just look around for yourself. The doctors are much.
‘We are more than 500 doctors, here. Some have come and gone. It is not about the number but the capacity of the doctors here. Do you know what it means to be a consultant? 10 years post-graduation, I am still struggling to go into training. So, who is going to train the rest of us? Who is going to train the young doctors who are looking forward to studying medicine who cannot afford to go outside? And, for me, Nigeria is empty of doctors. It will get to a time that I don’t know what to say. It is going to be very pitiable. I am wailing in my heart. Inside my heart is bitter at the quality of people here. I can’t even stand it. I had to kneel to greet a number of them and that tells you how highly disturbing it is. We are losing people. It is quite unfortunate”, she stated.
Vivian laments the frustration medical personnel especially doctors are going through in Nigeria.
” Who stays where she is not wanted? You go to where you are appreciated. They say we can all leave that they have enough. I think Dr Ngige said he will bring his daughter. Let him bring her. If his son or daughter is anywhere in any teaching hospital in Nigeria, right now, let him declare the hospital and will go there and work with her or him. But, if his child is not within the country, or working in any teaching hospital in Nigeria, then what should I be doing here? They should live by example.
” If you have a daughter, in your house, or a leader in the country, and you have a daughter as a child, if that child that is a medical doctor, and is practising in any teaching hospital in Nigeria, despite the strike and the person is attending to patients declare the hospital and I will go and join your child. But if your son or daughter is outside this country, I will port and join them fast. To be frank with you, I am heartbroken. When I came here I wanted to cry. I am heartbroken because over 90% of the doctors here are consultants. I left medical school in April 2011”, she said.
She said she is challenging Dr Ngige, the Minister of Health, Governors, and other Nigerian leaders whose children are still in teaching hospitals today to own up and she will be ready to work with any of them. She maintained that it is quite unfortunate Nigeria found itself in such a situation that leaders don’t care or think about the future of the country.
Also, Dr Ibrahim Saiki who is among the doctors who came for the recruitment exercise said it became the best thing for any Nigerian doctor to do because the Nigerian Government has shown time without number that they are not interested in them.
”As a doctor, I know what it means. I know the input we put in place to ensure patients get better. Every day, we have sleepless nights. We took lots of time to study the situation but nothing reasonable comes out. For some months now, we have not been paid. No basic allocation. It is a painful situation. Imagine now, most of us are being sacked by the federal government indirectly. No salary. We are being threatened. When we talk about our rights, nobody cares about us.
”The federal government is should cold attitude towards us. No responsibility at all from their side. We are being careful about the situation. I can’t believe that a whole Minister will come out to threaten us. It doesn’t make any sense. It worsens the situation more. We are very disappointed. When I go to where I work, I feel sorry. We don’t have basic things to work with. Sometimes, I will have to put in my money just for the sake of the patients. Every day that passes, there is no progress.
”There is nothing to show forth. We don’t get the resources that are supposed to be allocated to us. There is nothing good coming out of the residency training we usually attend. One of our Professors, who taught us had to leave the country about 11 to 13 years ago. He was telling us before that Nigeria is better than we should stay. But, he has since left the country. Your rights are been trampled upon every day, he said.