The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, NAGGMDP, has urged the Federal Government to extend the retirement age of medical practitioners to 70 years to enable them to impact more knowledge on upcoming doctors.
The body of doctors made the call, yesterday, in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
NAGGMDP, which also urged the Federal Government to prioritise the health sector, noted that the extension of the retirement age of medical practitioners was to allow them to impact more knowledge in upcoming doctors.
According to the communique jointly signed by National President, Dr Dokun Noel, and General Secretary, Dr Ekundare Folu, Nigeria is facing an acute shortage of doctors because many have emigrated to Europe, North America and the Middle East.
It added: “The NEC resolved that the government should immediately begin to consider the review of the retirement age of doctors to 70 years to retain experienced hands and also to cover for the acute shortage of doctors being witnessed currently.
“The NEC also resolved that the government, especially state governors and local government authorities should, as a matter of urgency, commence recruitment of doctors and make all necessary efforts to employ doctors to fill the spaces opened up by the brain drain/emigration of doctors and other health care workers.
‘’This is very necessary because the state and local govt healthcare systems are most hit and this sector caters for the bulk of the population in the country.”
The communique stressed the need for the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to give the health sector top priority to reduce the brain drain.
It read: “The NEC resolved that the Federal and State Government should provide affordable healthcare for Nigerians while making special considerations for children, the vulnerable and the aged, through a well funded National health insurance scheme which would reduce out-of-pocket payments.
“The NEC called on the relevant organs of Government to see urgent needs to increase the budgetary allocation to healthcare to be in line with WHO proposals/standards.”