Abuja – The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to expedite action on reviewing and restructuring of Residency Training Programme.
NARD’s President, Dr Muhammad Askira, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Askira, who blamed medical tourism on lack of effective health care delivery, insisted that the restructuring must conform with the global best practices.
He further linked the migration of Nigerians abroad to access quality health care delivery to negligent of residency training programme in the country.
NAN reports that residency programme is a post-doctorate training programme aimed at rendering a specialist care to patients across all sections of medicine.
Askira said that that such review should capture resuscitating the mandatory overseas clinical attachment as well as sustaining budgetary allocation for the programme.
The president said the review would enable Nigerian medical practitioners to attain global best practices in health care delivery thereby curtailing the menace of medical tourism.
Askira, however, decried the number of Nigerians traveling abroad for medical tourism, adding that, restructuring of the programme would put a stop to such menace.
Robust residency programme guarantees global best practices in clinical governance.
According to him, if Nigerians are convinced with the capability of the medical personnel there would be no need spending millions of naira traveling abroad to access healthcare services.
“Our people go every year spending over five hundred million pounds which are lost to other countries.
The disheartening aspect of it is that we go to countries like India, Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan, Egypt among others, for medical tourism.
“We urge the Federal Government to constructively begin the process of reviewing and resuscitating the mandatory overseas clinical attachment and sustaining budgetary line for the programme.
“Review and resuscitation of the residency training programme will also enable ordinary Nigerians who cannot afford foreign medical trips to access the highest state-of-the-art medical interventions right here at our doorsteps.
“If the programme is reviewed it will guarantee a robust specialist care and at the end of the day, Nigeria will be a centre where all African countries, even some Asian and European countries will be coming for medical tourism,’’ he said.
The president further called for universal applicability of extent circulars and policies on remuneration and residency training programme in both the federal, state and local governments.
According to him, such measures will assist in preventing internal brain drain and also enable the people in the grassroots to access efficient health care from medical specialists.
“We urge the Federal Government to ensure that our full salary with respect to extent circulars including the skipping of a grade level is captured in the personnel cost of 2016 budget.
“Any short change in our salaries will be strongly resisted by the association. We enjoin the federal government to expedite action toward the release of the approved 10-month relativity arrears of medical doctors,’’ he said. (NAN)