Chairman of Edo State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof Afekhide Omoti, has decried the alarming rate of brain drain in the health sector, particularly, amongst medical doctors, saying, poor incentive and motivation have been identified as responsible for internal and external brain drain in the sector.
Speaking at the NMA Edo State Branch, 2016 Annual General Meeting/ Scientific Conference with theme, Medical Practice in a Depressed Economy, Omoti said the AGM is to X-ray the challenges in the sector, as well as proffer solutions.
Omoti, who lamented the frequent disruption of services as a result of industrial actions by the various groups of healthcare professionals, also frowned at the unnecessary and unhealthy struggle for supremacy by various paramedical practitioners.
He appealed to the Edo State government for the payment of competitive salaries to doctors under its employ when the New Central Hospital complex in Benin City goes into operation as well as called for sponsorship of a major medical/surgical outreach programme for doctors in the state, particularly, those in the rural areas of Edo North Senatorial district in the state.
Omoti, while urging the state government to urgently address the issue of brain drain in the health sector, expressed dissatisfaction at the rateof multiple taxation in Edo.
He noted that the issue cannot be overemphasized, as doctors in private hospitals have become endangered species and prime targets for government tax officials, both legal and illegal. “Multiple taxation and incessant harassment must be eradicated from the state to sustain the trust the people repose in this government and to boost entrepreneurship.
“Different agencies both of both state and local government such as Edo state Board of Internal Revenue, Ministries of Health, Commerce and Industry, Environment, Edo state Environmental and Waste Management Board and Local Government agencies demand levies for similar items. This has made the environment inconducive for optimal medical practice,” Omoti stated.