Home Health Japa: 15,000 nurses left Nigeria in 2023 – NMCN

Japa: 15,000 nurses left Nigeria in 2023 – NMCN

NMCN nurses

Faruk Abubakar, the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), recently disclosed that in 2023, more than 15,000 nurses and midwives left Nigeria in pursuit of better opportunities abroad. This revelation came to light during his interview on Channels Television’s Morning Brief, where he addressed the contentious issue surrounding the verification of nurses’ certificates.

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives staged peaceful protests at the NMCN’s offices in Abuja and Lagos to express their dissatisfaction over the NMCN’s revised guidelines which they perceive as obstacles hindering their career advancement. Among their grievances were concerns about inadequate welfare, salary disparities, staff shortages, and limitations on professional freedoms.

However, Abubakar lamented that the number of nurses leaving the country is increasing annually.

He revealed that over 42,000 nurses left the country in the last three years. “Last year alone, it was over 15,000, the number is increasing year by year,” he added.

Addressing efforts to safeguard and improve nurses’ welfare, Abubakar highlighted initiatives by the Federal Ministry of Health aimed at enhancing working conditions, allowances, and salaries for nurses. He assured that significant strides had been made in 2024 to provide a conducive working environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure quality healthcare delivery to Nigerians.

In his words:

“Federal Ministry of Health is working towards improving the nurses’ working conditions, allowances, and salaries.

“The FMoH and the honourable Minister of State (for health) are working hard to ensure a very conducive working environment, with the provision of state-of-art equipment, and instruments, that will help them provide quality care for Nigerians.

“And I want to assure (you) that within a couple of months, a lot has been integrated and provided in 2024 that will improve the welfare of the nurses that we are talking about. When talking about the salary they are talking about, I think it’s a general phenomenon, and I believe it’s a general thing.

“There is a lot of progress that is going on to review the salary and nurses are also included in that policy. I think it’s a general phenomenon, all other sectors are also complaining, and the government is doing a lot.”

However, he clarified that the responsibility for determining nurses’ remuneration lies outside the mandate of the NMCN, emphasizing ongoing government initiatives and the advocacy role played by the Nigerian Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in championing improved welfare for its members.

“Our responsibility is to ensure that nurses are regulated to better education and practice for Nigerians,” Abubakar stated. Those who are responsible are doing their best to ensure that the welfare is attended to.”

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