According to Dr. Pamela Ajayi, President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Nigerians in the Diaspora—including healthcare professionals studying and working abroad—contributed $5.16 billion to Nigeria’s economy in the first three months of this year.
At the Doctors for Change (DFC) convention in Lagos, the president made this announcement and described the organization as a platform that would ensure that, in addition to the significant remittances, the talents, intellectual resources, and capabilities of the doctors abroad could be used to improve the situation of the industry in Nigeria.
She promised that by putting in place supportive policies to encourage Diaspora doctors who are returning, HFN would work with partners to make sure that doctors in the Diaspora had access to strategic and collaborative possibilities with the government.
Dr. Abiodun Kuti, president of the Guild of Medical Directors, also lamented the worrying rate of brain drain in the nation.
He emphasized the need for initiatives that could entice physicians living abroad to return home and fulfill their share of the labor shortage.
The DFC Convener, Dr. Babaseyi Oyesola, previously stated that the organization was created out of the necessity to bring like minds together from within and the Diaspora in order to unite and create a unified front to revive the failing healthcare industry.
Olusola praised the DFC members who had already established specialty care institutions in the nation, including those for cardiology, cancer centers, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and medical labs, among others. He said that the change will result in less money being spent by Nigerians on medical tourism.
Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Health Commissioner, officially opened the convention after Diaspora Commission member Abike Dabiri read a special message.
Dr. Iyore James, President of the Nigerian Advocacy Physicians Advocacy Group, Dr. Kay Adesola, President of the Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners, and Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu were among the other experts in attendance at the conference.