Nigeria is Losing Midwives to UK
Over 1,670 Nigerian nurses were licensed to practice in the UK within six months, exacerbating the healthcare crisis in Nigeria.
According to a recent Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) report, 1,670 Nigerian-trained nurses were licensed to practice in the UK within just six months. This report highlights Nigeria's significant challenge regarding the retention of healthcare professionals, particularly in the nursing sector.
Nigeria has been experiencing a major brain drain among healthcare workers due to various factors, including poor remuneration, poor working conditions, heavy workload, and insecurity. These factors have led many healthcare professionals to seek better opportunities abroad. The NMC report indicates that the UK has become a particularly attractive destination for Nigerian-trained nurses.
The NMC is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the nursing and midwifery professions in the UK, and it maintains a register of all eligible nurses, midwives, specialist community public health nurses, and nursing associates. The latest report from the NMC shows that there were a total of 771,445 nursing and midwifery professionals on its register as of September 30th, 2022.
Of this number, 8,891 professionals were educated in Nigeria. The report notes that 1,670 nurses who were educated in Nigeria joined the NMC register for the first time between April 1st and September 30th, 2022. This represents a significant increase from the previous year.
The report also notes that Nigeria is the third highest country in terms of the number of nurses and midwives registered, after India and the Philippines. India has a total of 9,769 registered nurses and midwives, while the Philippines has 5,763.
The steady number of monthly joiners from outside the UK is a cause for concern, with more than 2,000 internationally trained nurses and midwives joining the NMC register each month. It is clear that there is a significant demand for nursing professionals in the UK, and this demand is being met, in part, by Nigerian-trained nurses.
However, the situation in Nigeria remains precarious, with many healthcare professionals leaving the country for better opportunities abroad. This brain drain is having a detrimental impact on Nigeria's healthcare system, which is struggling to cope with the increasing demand for healthcare services. If this trend continues, the healthcare system in Nigeria is at risk of collapse.
It is important that urgent action is taken to address the factors that are driving healthcare professionals to seek opportunities abroad. This includes improving remuneration, working conditions, and job security for healthcare professionals. Additionally, the Nigerian government needs to invest in the healthcare system to ensure it can meet the growing demand for healthcare services.
The NMC report highlights the significant challenge that Nigeria faces in retaining healthcare professionals, particularly in the nursing sector. The increase in the number of Nigerian-trained nurses joining the NMC register is indicative of the demand for nursing professionals in the UK. However, it is imperative that action is taken to address the factors driving healthcare professionals to seek opportunities abroad, to prevent the collapse of Nigeria's healthcare system.