The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has said that Nigerian Medical Doctors who relocated abroad are regretting their action.
The Registrar of the Council, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, who said this on Thursday, advised against Doctors relocating.
Sanusi spoke during the induction of 477 foreign-trained medical and dental graduates, made up of 469 medicine graduates and eight dentistry graduates.
He said: “People continue to say that they want to emigrate.
“If you go out, have a mission.
“You can avail yourself of the best facilities there in terms of training.
“But always remember that there is no other country than your own, and think of coming back.
“Please, the issue of ‘Japa’ won’t do anybody any good.
“Some of those abroad are already regretting that they ought to have come back.
“Later in your career over there, when you start experiencing some kind of discrimination, you will know that you have succeeded in wasting your time.
“We advise that when you go there, always have it in mind that you need to come back home and render care to your people.”
The Registrar also counselled against industrial actions by the new inductees.
Sanusi said they should stay away from strike by medical associations, including the Association of Resident Doctors.
He said: “By the council policy, you are not members of the ARD.
“However, by the Nigerian constitution, there is the freedom of association and you can join.
“But if they call for a strike, don’t join them because your programme is structured and uninterrupted in each of the postings.
“The moment you interrupt, you will start all over at no cost to the government.
“That is the implication.
“It is not only for the house officers, it is for doctors as a whole.
“Yes, a strike is something you can embark on by labour law with prior notification to your employer.
“The fact that you have some in-patients, you already owe them the duty of care.
“Under no condition must you discharge these patients because you want to go on strike.
“Again, during the strike action, the accident and emergency (unit) must be manned with a duty roster so that any patient in need of your services can be given first aid and asked to go and sort themselves out somewhere.
“It is not for you to entirely close down the health facility to the public.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, also lamented the mass exodus of doctors and urged the inducted doctors to render selfless services to patients.
Ehanire, who was represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry, Dr. Ngozi Azodo, said: “When people come to you in their most vulnerable state, they know you can help them.
“Don’t exploit them.
“Commit today to help your patient, society and community to the best of your ability for the benefit of humanity.
“Doctors must care for themselves because if not, they will not be able to care for the rest of humanity.”