… As 180 foreign trained Medical and Dental Graduates Joins Nigeria’s Healthcare Workforce 

Paschal Emeka, Abuja 

The Minister of State for Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama has advised healthcare workers in the country to always shelve the idea of embarking on strikes as most of their demands are already receiving government attention including the contentious issue of house allowance.

The Minister gave this advice while delivering a keynote address at the induction ceremony of foreign trained Medical and Dental graduates in Abuja.

Hon. Ekumankama, who was represented at the event by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr. David Atuwo, urged the new inductees to abide by the ethics of the profession, prioritize the health and well-being of their patients at all times. 

”This administration takes the welfare of doctors and healthcare workers very seriously and is doing its best to ensure you have a good working environment and appropriate remuneration to ensure you gave satisfactory services. 

“We provide adequate infrastructure in all our hospitals including all primary healthcare centres 

“It is our hope that we will stem the tide of myriads of challenges bedeviling the nation’s healthcare sector. 

In his opening remarks the Chairman Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Prof. Abba Waziri Hassan disclosed that the inductees passed the assessment examination held at the University College (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, in June this year. 

According to him: “I once again wish to emphasize the necessity of conducting this examination, which is to assess the quality of candidates trained outside the country. 

“We appreciate that as long as there are inadequate vacancies to absorb qualified candidates in our Medical and Dental Colleges, some have to go abroad for medical and dental training. 

“This is why the MDCN continue to encourage federal and state governments and philanthropists to invest more in the establishment of medical schools. 

“However, while efforts are being made by MDCN and NUC to increase the carrying capacities of the existing medical schools, and encouraging the opening of new ones, parents and guardians and state governments should be cautious as to which countries to send their wards for medical and dental training. 

The Chairman charged the inductees to be humble and dedicated to their duties. 

“Today marks the beginning of your career to this noble profession. In order to succeed you need to be humble and dedicated to the service of your patients. 

“You should shelve malpractice by not attending to cases that you are not capable to handle and seek guidance from your seniors at the right time. You should develop good understanding with your colleagues, seniors and other health professionals that you will work with in the overall interest of your patients. The oath you are going to take should be your watch word of your service life. 

Prof. Hassan used the opportunity to announce that the centralised internship administration has come to stay and urged the ministry of health to do everything possible to sustain it. 

He appealed to state governments to upgrade at least three hospitals in their respective states to standards suitable for housemanship as it will create adequate spaces for housemanship every year. 

Furthermore, he announced a one-year mandatory and uninterrupted housemanship training for the inductees. 

He advised those sponsoring candidates abroad to to seek guidance from the MDCN and NUC as to which Medical School abroad are considered to be of satisfactory standard.

The Chairman informed that a total number of 647 medical and dental graduates appeared for the June 2022 examination and out of this number, 172 medical graduates (26.5%) and 6 (0.93%) dental graduates. The overall percentage pass was 27.5%. Two medical students who missed their induction last year also participated in this year’s induction. 

According to him, “regional experience about the African students studying overseas particularly in Eastern Blocks has shown great deficiency their training.

“While MDCN recorded 27.5% pass at the June 2022 assessment examination, Ghana recorded 20% and South Africa 27%.

“This trend has again brought to mind the need for many of our wards attending medical and dental schools in the Eastern Block and some other countries where experiences have shown poor or substandard medical education to attend remediation programmes to bring their knowledge to par with standard of medical education available anywhere in Nigeria. 

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