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1 psychiatric doctor attends to 50 patients daily as brain-drain worsens

January 25th 2022, 9:47:08 pm

A Senior Registrar in Psychiatry, Dr Samuel Aladejare, has identified brain-drain, limited slots and complicated recruitment process as major factors responsible for the limited number of psychiatrists in Nigeria.

Yaba hospital admits 727 psychiatric patients in 2019 (NAN)

Aladejare, President, Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, there are limited slots available for graduates in the medical field, who may wish to be psychiatric doctors in Nigeria.

Psychiatry is the study and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbances and abnormal behaviour.

Aladejare also said that apart from the limited spaces, the process of recruitment into the system was tedious and demanding.

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According to him, such processes have deprived many from coming into psychiatry.

The psychiatrist added a greater percentage of professionals in the field sought for greener pastures abroad.

He said: “If the few who finally became psychiatrists are practising in the country, it would have been better; but the issue is that 80 per cent of them are migrating to other countries.

“As a result of the limited number of practising psychiatrists, the workload is much on the few professionals available.

“On every clinic day, there is usually an average of 200 patients to four psychiatric doctors, which implies that a doctor will attend to no fewer than 50 patients on daily basis.

“When I spoke with some of those practising abroad, they said that what attracted them to other countries included good remuneration, better working condition, free car and house, scholarship programmes for wards/children and security, among other incentives.”

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He said that although all the listed incentives were not obtainable in Nigeria, the Federal Government could introduce them.

The psychiatrist urged the Federal Government to train more psychiatric doctors and increase slot for recruitment of psychiatric doctors.

He also appealed to governments at all levels to pay attention to the welfare of the doctors by providing the incentives attracting them abroad.

“Let the government provide some housing schemes through which the doctors can own houses of their own.

“The governments can also liaise with some financial institutions to provide car-loan programmes through which doctors can buy cars and payback overtime.

“Even scholarship programmes can be provided for wards/children of doctors.

“If these incentives can be provided in Nigeria, doctors will begin to think twice before leaving the country to practise abroad,” Aladejare said.

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