Brain Drain: MDCAN Calls for an Increase in Medical Students

The Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has urged for an increase in medical students to lessen the effects of the country’s doctor brain drain.

Only 30% of the 4,000 doctors who graduate from medical schools each year are retained in Nigeria, according to MDCAN President Dr. Victor Makanjuola.

He said that if the number were to rise, there would be more doctors to help address the country’s low doctor-to-patient ratio.

During an education summit on Wednesday in Abuja, Makanjuola acknowledged that while the drain would not be stopped, the number of doctors in the nation would increase.

“We need to maintain good medical education in the country while at the same time maintaining good service delivery to the people of Nigeria. We can only do this if we increase the number of medical doctors that we are producing.

“We retain just 30 to 35 percent of those we train on an annual basis. If we are retaining 30 percent of about 4,000 produced annually, we are going to go into deeper crises.

“What we are looking at is if we can find some mechanism for increasing the number to 12,000 or 8,000 because if we retain 30 percent of this number, it is better than that of 4,000. With this, we can support the system, not optimally but keep the system going,” he said.

He added that while the nation lacked sufficient staff to man the schools, the goal could still be accomplished if the federal government raised the number of medical schools while implementing new teaching techniques.


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